Retrospective: Happy 40th birthday Kate Moss

Retrospective: Happy 40th birthday Kate Moss

Marking the fashion icon’s milestones

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As she celebrates her 40th birthday today, we remember eight great moments in the career of Kate Moss

Having been given sole use of Richard Branson's luxury Necker Island for a relaxing break to celebrate her 40th birthday, Kate Moss whisked husband Jamie Hince to paradise to mark the milestone prior to her London celebrations today.

Join Buro 24/7 Middle East as we reflect on the supermodel's stellar career – from her discovery to early campaigns before global fame, marriage, and recognition as one of the most iconic fashion personalities of a generation.

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In 1990, 14-year-old Katherine Ann Moss from Croydon in London was spotted by Storm model agency founder Sarah Doukas at JFK airport, as she and her dad returned from holiday in the Bahamas. Two years later, Corinne Day photographed the then unknown teenager for style bible The Face. The black and white images were described as "grunge" and welcomed a new age of supermodels.

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In 1992, following the success of The Face editorial, Moss's longstanding relationship with fashion label Calvin Klein began. Her initial shot for the brand saw her controversially appear with famous rapper Marky Mark (now known as Mark Wahlberg) – prompting public speculation about her weight but again, marking an iconic change in the aesthetics of fashion.

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Known to spark a fashion frenzy for retailers, by the early 00's, Kate Moss could start a trend in an instant. Most famously, Moss single-handedly invented 'festival fashion' when she attended Glastonbury in the UK in 2005. She was there to cheer on Pete Doherty's band Babyshambles and her look – denim hot pants, waistcoat and wellies, accessorised with sunglasses and wristbands – is copied for music events worldwide to this day. It's safe to say that now-famous wellington boot brand Hunter owes its recent boom to this look.

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After keeping a low profile for six months, close friend and longtime collaborator Alexander McQueen put Kate back on the catwalk for AW06...  As a state-of-the-art hologram. Following a puff of white smoke, a ghostly apparition appeared inside a glass pyramid, ruffled gown floating in dream-like slow motion. At the show's finale, McQueen took his bow in a T-shirt promoting the slogan: "We love you, Kate."

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Having retired from regular catwalk work over a decade ago, in 2011 Kate Moss took a rare trip down the runway, and certainly made it memorable. She closed Louis Vuitton's fetish-themed AW11 Paris show by stomping in a black body, opera mask, leather gloves and boots, while insouciantly puffing on a Marlboro and theatrically blowing out smoke. The move sparked more controversy for the star, flouting not just the indoor smoking ban but also taking place on national No Smoking Day.

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Also in 2011, Kate happily exchanged vows with The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince in a ceremony in Southrop, England wearing a sleeveless gown by John Galliano. The decision to wear the British designer came at the height of his own controversy and scandal, making the move a poignant show of support to her longtime friend. The event was exclusively featured in Vogue from the first hand point of view of editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles.

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When Kate Moss was awarded a Lifetime Achievement gong at last year's British Fashion Awards, Donatella Versace declared, "From the very beginning Kate was iconic; she never had to become a model. She has the same energy, the same seduction and the same wit – in front of the camera and with everyone. I love you Kate!" The words echoed that of Alexander Lee McQueen in 2006 and came almost 15 years after the Italian designer herself threw the model a 25th birthday party in collaboration with Versace... Proving that Kate Moss' professional and personal friendships span the industry, and we expect they will continue to do so for years to come. 


Kate says...

On her appetite

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." 

(However few are aware of the now-famous quote in full, when Moss was asked by WWD if she lived by any mantra, she answered; "There are loads of mottos. There's 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'. That's one of them." She then added, "You try and remember, but it never works.")

On speaking publically

"Never complain. Never explain." 

On self confidence

"What people say isn't going to stop me. I have to do things for myself." 

On sleep

"I was tired of feeling like Dracula. I wanted to see some daylight, and not just at six o'clock in the morning." 

On identity

"I don't like doing [things] as myself... I like to be made into someone else." 

On her style icon

"The Queen. I think she's fabulous."

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