15-year-old Kate Moss’ epic clapback to photog who branded her a ‘common b****’

It's 30 years since Kate Moss quit school and left her home in Croydon to become a full-time model.

Aged just 15 and with just two cover shoots for The Face under her belt, she'd been spotted walking through New York's JFK airport by a modelling agent only a year earlier.

And in 1990 the gangly teen caught the eye of fashion designer John Galliano, who chose Kate to open his spring/summer show as 'Lolita'.

“We were looking for new girls, and wow — I’d found my rough little diamond," he told author Maureen Callahan for her 2014 book, Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the ’90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion.



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Not that anyone realised the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl sitting backstage chatting to anyone and everyone was a model, let alone the opening star.

Kate, who turns 46 today, once told Interview magazine: "The first time I went to Paris for John’s show, no one knew that I was even a model.

"All the girls were lined up, and I remember Stéphane Marais said to me, 'Are you in the show?' I said, 'Yeah.'

"He’s like, 'Who are you in the show?' I said, 'I’m Lolita.' He’s like, 'Oh my god, get her done quick.' I was just sitting there all day. I’d been there since 10 in the morning. They just didn’t take me for a model."

It was in that same city that another photographer tried to crush her dreams by taking aim at her image, which was a deviation from the Cindy Crawford 'glamazon' look of the time.

But he didn't get the reaction he expected when he branded Kate "just another common b****" who would never succeed.


Rather than take offence, she instead laughed heartily in his face and went off to prove him wrong by landing a £2million deal with Calvin Klein in 1992.

The iconic adverts showing her draped topless all over actor Mark Wahlberg – then a rapper known as Marky Mark – were a global success.

But behind the scenes, the demands of the shoot had taken Kate to one of the darkest places of her life.

There was no chemistry between the pair and the set was not said to be a happy one.

Desperately insecure about the size of her breasts, she didn't want to go topless and also clashed with her leading man who she apparently considered too vain.

“I was such a nervous wreck," she later told writer Glen O'Brien. "At the time he [Mark] was such a d**khead. He wasn’t very nice.”

By that point she was drinking heavily and quickly realised she needed help.

"It didn't feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn't like it. I couldn't get out of bed for two weeks. I thought I was going to die," she told Vanity Fair.

"I went to the doctor, and he said, 'I'll give you some Valium,' and Francesca Sorrenti [her boyfriend's mother], thank God, said, 'You're not taking that.'

"It was just anxiety. Nobody takes care of you mentally. There's a massive pressure to do what you have to do."

For his part, Mark was equally scathing about Kate, taking aim at her slender figure.

“I wasn’t into the waif thing,” he later told Nuts magazine. “She kind of looked like my nephew.”

Nevertheless, the campaign revived Calvin Klein's fortunes and made Kate's look – and her career – the next big thing.

Klein reflected: “For me, Kate’s body represented closing the door on the excessiveness of the eighties.

“So many women models would come to me where they’ve distorted their bodies by implants in their breasts, changing their hips, changing their knees… I mean, you just cannot imagine what models were doing to themselves, what women have been doing to themselves.

"I think something changed dramatically in the ninties. And I was looking for someone who could represent something that’s more natural.”

Kate went on to enjoy one of the most successful careers in history, amassing an estimated £55million and becoming one of the most photographed faces on the planet.

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