Katherine Ann Moss (born 16 January 1974) is an English model and businesswoman. Born in Croydon, Greater London, she was discovered in 1988 at age 14 by Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Model Management, at JFK Airport in New York City.
Arriving at the end of the “supermodel era”, Moss rose to fame in the mid 1990s as part of the heroin chic fashion trend. Her collaborations with Calvin Klein brought her to fashion icon status. She is known for her waifish figure, and role in size zero fashion. She received an award at the 2013 British Fashion Awards to acknowledge her contribution to fashion over 25 years. Moss is also a contributing fashion editor for British Vogue.
Moss has had her own clothing range and has been involved in musical projects. She has won accolades for modelling. In 2007, Time named her one of the world’s 100 most influential people. She has inspired cultural depictions including a £1.5m ($2.8m) 18 carat gold statue of her, sculpted in 2008 for a British Museum exhibition.
She received media scrutiny for her party lifestyle and drug use. Drug allegations beginning in late 2005 led to her being dropped from fashion campaigns. She was cleared of charges and resumed modelling. In 2012, she came second on the Forbes top-earning models list, with estimated earnings of $9.2 million in one year.
Moss has been featured in ad campaigns with Chanel, Balenciaga, Burberry, Stuart Weitzman, Versace, rag & bone, Alexander Wang, David Yurman, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Kerastase, Isabel Marant, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Equipment, Rimmel, and Bulgari. She has been on the cover and in fashion spreads for most magazines including UK, US, and French Vogue (as well as other international versions of Vogue), Another Man, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, the Face, and W. She has been on the cover of British Vogue 30 times, shot the inaugural covers for both Russian Vogue with Amber Valletta and Japanese Vogue, in addition to dozens of other international Vogue covers.
Moss has been on the cover of 17 issues of W, including one with nine different covers that featured her. W named Moss its muse (September 2003 issue). Moss has also featured on the inaugural covers of Numéro, Numéro Tokyo and Spanish L’Officiel. She has worked extensively with photographers such as Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Klein, Juergen Teller, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh, and won the Vogue/CFDA award from the Fashion Designers of America in July 2005 as Fashion Inspiration. April 2005 saw the launch of a Rimmel London mascara TV ad featuring leather-clad Moss motorcycling through London to the rock song “Another Cold Beer” by Steven Crayn.
Twelve months after her cocaine scandal, Moss signed 18 contracts for autumn-winter 2006 including Rimmel, Agent Provocateur, Virgin Mobile, Calvin Klein and Burberry. Moss designed a collection, with Katy England, for Topshop. Moss launched a fragrance and body lotion range bearing her name in association with Coty in 2007. In November 2006, Moss was model of the year at the British Fashion Awards, the top accolade in British fashion, but the award stirred fresh controversy.
On 1 May 2007, clothes designed by Moss for Topshop were launched in the chain’s 225 UK stores. A Moss “countdown to launch” board filled a window of the company’s Oxford Street store and on 30 April Moss launched the clothing there, briefly appearing in the window modelling a red dress from the collection just before the shop opened. Topshop reportedly paid Moss £3 million. The 50 designs included clothes, bags, shoes and belts, prices from £12 for a vest top to £150 for a cropped leather jacket. Clothes included skinny jeans, one-shoulder minidresses and T-shirts with K woven into the design. In a collaboration with Coty, Moss has released four fragrances.
In early 2010, she designed handbags for Longchamp. In 2012, Moss modelled for the spring-summer collection for Supreme. Moss has represented Mango since 2011. In November 2012, Australian model Miranda Kerr replaced Moss for spring/summer 2013.
In January 2012, having seen Dutch illusionist Hans Klok on the BBC’s The One Show, Moss recommended Stella McCartney book him for London Fashion Week the following month. It was planned that Moss, a magic fan, would be Klok’s assistant, and she rehearsed three illusions, a levitation, a sawing in half and a guillotine illusion. However, she dropped out with temporary paralysis of her right arm due to a trapped nerve, and her place was taken by Alexa Chung.
Also in 2012, Moss appeared in the video of George Michael’s White Light, inspired by his pneumonia. Moss performed with Naomi Campbell in the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games on 12 August 2012.
Moss posed nude for the 60th-anniversary issue of Playboy in December 2013. That same month, she received a Special Recognition award at the British Fashion Awards to acknowledge her contribution to fashion during her 25-year career.
At the 2014 Brit Awards in February, Moss collected David Bowie’s Brit Award for Best British Male, while wearing a one-piece printed “woodland creatures” costume, as worn originally by Bowie. On 30 April 2014, Moss’s second collection for Topshop was unveiled. Her first collection with Topshop resulted in a long-lasting relationship with the brand.