1993 was a
great phenomenal year. Aside from birthing some of the greatest hip hop albums known to man — Enter The Wu-Tang, Midnight Marauders and Doggystyle, which respectively redefined the way hip hop music was conceived — an eminent changing of the guard occurred across various mediums, particularly fashion. Modeling in the late ’80s/early ’90s had a wholesome and “healthy” look, with muses like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. But in ’93 an icon was born, the anti-model appeared in the form of Kate Moss.
Fast forward 20 years, and the Wu is short one Big Baby Jesus (RIP ODB), A Tribe Called Quest split long ago, and Snoop Dogg is now Rasta God Snoop Lion. As for Kate, she’s 39, surpassing a typical model’s shelf life, and is just as strong and prevalent as ever.
I hardly remember the first time I saw Kate Moss, or even recognized who she was. I imagine it was around prepubescence, around the same time I saw “Edward Scissorhands” for the first time and realized that Winona Ryder was my soul mate. But over time, as a product of the Internet age, I began seeing Kate’s face everywhere. So much so that, much to my mother’s dismay, I used my first lifeguarding check to buy a risqué portrait tee at Urban Outfitters bearing my newfound obsession’s visage.
Moss’ appeal track record includes campaigns for Calvin Klein, Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Chanel, Rimmel, and countless others. She has walked numerous runways and served as muse for the highest caliber fashion houses. The British sensation has appeared on the cover of 300+ magazines, namely she has been featured on the cover of British Vogue 30 times. Yet, it’s her ability to teeter the line between high brow fashion and streetwear that has helped her maintain superior relevance.
Rewind to a cold and rainy day last year just before spring arrived in New York City. Streetwear giants Supreme have a storied history with Kate, one that includes what are now considered “grail status” pieces in ‘Preme gear. Supreme’s Spring/Summer 2012 Collection received a grand rollout with posters fixed on Lower Manhattan walls at every turn of every corner. The posters bore her image in all of its glory, a leopard fur coat atop a Box Logo tee, a cigarette in her right hand and her divine golden locks cascading in a marvelous flow. It was just…prefect. So perfect that when the release date came around, the hypebeasts hyped and beasted more than usual. The line to purchase stretched from the storefront on Lafayette Street, around two corners to the end of Crosby, and included customers who camped DAYS to cop. Granted, other notable pieces dropped that day, but everyone needed that Kate Tee, for re-sell value and more importantly, street cred.
On a wider scale, Playboy recently tapped the British celestial goddess to grace the cover of their January/February 60th Anniversary issue. Yeah we know, guys only read Playboy “for the articles.” But in today’s cyber age, who needs a print magazine when web wanking is available at the touch of a finger? Why pay for a physical copy of any still pornographic imager when there are videos to satisfy any fetish your heart (and head) desire?
These were my thoughts as I approached a magazine shop in SoHo last week. I searched immediately in the naughty section, where publications like Juggs, Spicy Latinas, and Barely Legal were visibly available, yet no Kate. Approaching the counter in befuddlement I asked the man for the issue. “Sold out.” The same situation took place in another mag shop, I couldn’t believe it. On the third try though, I found my baby. Promise of the previous unsuccessful outcomes threatened when at first I couldn’t find the Playboy on the stands.
Preparing for defeat I asked, “You got that new Playboy?” The man looked around to see if anyone was watching, and proceeded to hand me a copy from under the counter. It was hands down the shadiest magazine purchase of my life, comparable to poorly lit parking lot deals of another sort. But I finally had it, cracked the plastic and passed right through an interview with Ben Affleck, 60 years worth of Playboy history, past January’s Playmate of the Month, and straight to Kate. I devoured her image with my eyes, she consumed me. For a minute I felt like it was my birthday. In that moment, I swear I felt whole. That is until I became aware that Marc Jacobs collaborated with Playboy to release a Kate tee, which I immediately pre-ordered on the spot.
Her ability to increase sales of virtually anything is astounding. After all, numbers don’t lie. Moss ranked in at #4 in The World’s Highest Paid Models according to Forbes for 2013, due in part to her various design. It could be her no fucks given attitude that transcends from her lifestyle, but at the bare minimum, it’s Kate’s face that has everyone in punch drunk love at dumbstruck first sight. It channels her ferocious sex appeal. It’s a face that is beginning to show signs of wear with wrinkles from nights spent partying and a healthy smoking habit of nearly 2 packs a day, but still, it reigns supreme amongst models in the world today. (Notice how I didn’t have to mention any current ones?)
Kate Moss continues to extend the expiration date we’ve come to expect from the life of a supermodel, with a timeless aesthetic that will continue to remain relevant until she’s old and gray. Hundred bucks says her ass will still look sexy modeling for Depends.
All Kate Moss look-a-likes can hit up Yo! Adrian on Twitter @_YOADRIAN.