A Model Case Study-Kate Moss


Kate Moss. Please research the highs and lows of her career to date, marking iconic (and controversial) fashion moments. After more than a quarter century in the spotlight, she continues to be one of the most sought-after models in the business. What is her “secret”?

Why does she endure in an industry perpetually preoccupied with what’s next?

How does she maintain her appeal without a single official social media account? Please share your findings and opinion with at least three images from different campaigns/photographers that you find most representative of the Kate Moss phenomenon.


A Model Case Study-Kate Moss

Fig 1.1. Kate Moss with imperfect look

Kate Moss joined the beauty industry at the tender age of 14 in 1988. The 1990s saw her career in the beauty industry come to a peak. She is much popular for launching the ‘waif look’ (thin, boyish figure). Kate Moss featured in a number of advertising campaigns that saw her gain recognition in the fashion industry. For instance, she featured in an advertising campaign by the designer Calvin Klein that enabled her achieve great fame in the industry (Garcia, 2014). Kate Moss has been a cover model for over 300 magazines, and appearing in over a dozen advertising campaigns for top designers and fashion houses. In 2005, she received the Fashion Icon award given by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Fig. 1.2. Ungroomed look

In 1998, Moss was admitted at a London clinic due to alcohol addiction issues (Perthuis, 2013).  In 2005, reports emerged that Kate Moss was doing cocaine and other drugs. Following the ensuing scandal, she lost a number of high stake modeling contracts. For instance, she lost her contract with the clothing icon H&M. This was among the lows of her career.


Fig. 1.3. Kate Moss adorning white shoes

Kate Moss’s endurance in the fashion industry is attributable to her unique beauty and the new sense of fashion she introduced which has stuck to date – the whole idea of skinny models and an imperfect beauty (Perthuis, 2013). Kate Moss introduced a completely new conception of beauty, which made her the highest paid model in the world. Unlike other models who sought artificial beauty, Kate Moss wears minimal make-up, she looks unpolished, and her hair looks ungroomed, in a way people would not imagine. Her unique sense of beauty is the secret ingredient that has kept her in the industry. Kate Moss maintains her appeal without social media accounts due to her drama-filled style of living. This makes fashion journalists interested in knowing more about what is going on in her life.


Garcia, M. (2014 Aug. 31). The influence of Kate Moss on the fashion industry: good or bad?             Glammonitor. Retrieved from http://www.glammonitor.com/

Perthuis, K. (2013 Oct. 1). The eduring appeal of Kate Moss. The Monthly. Retrieved from             https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/october/1380549600/karen-de-            perthuis/enduring-appeal-kate-moss

Access a copy of Vogue and two or three other current editions of fashion magazines. 

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