Gracing four stunning covers for our Pre-Spring Alphabetical Issue, we celebrate 20 years of rich, beautiful history between i-D and Kate Moss.
“Kate first featured on the cover of i-D in 1993. Little did we know that this impish imperfect beauty would end up an international superstar and on more i-D covers than any other! Kate’s feline, feminine fragility humanises her beauty and enables photographers and stylists to draw out her character and soul.” Terry Jones.
KATE MOSS is famously a woman of few words. Thankfully her 20-year career with i-D says all you need to know. It’s probably the stance that strikes you first. Bare legged from the knees down. It is exactly the way you would expect a teenager to stand. Her jumper pulled down to cover her hands, un-brushed hair, bare skin, her cheeky, winning expression adding to the youthful spirit of the times. This was 1993, after all, and a 19-year-old Kate Moss’ first outing on the cover of i-D [The Smart Issue, No. 123, December 1993]. Photographed by her friend and mentor Corinne Day, it was Kate as Kate wanted to be – unedited and irresistible. “I love reality, things like bad posture, vacant stares, skinniness…” Corinne told i-D at the time. “They’re normal to teenagers. Women have forgotten what it’s like to be young. But Kate represents that.” Fast-forward 20 years and it’s very clear that Kate – then described as “The supermodel success story of 1993” – is far from just a ‘remember her?’ face. Instead, she’s gone on to become one of the biggest fashion icons of all-time.
To celebrate Kate’s 20th anniversary of working with i-D, we kept with tradition and invited her to appear on not one, but four covers of i-D’s Alphabetical Issue. Photographed by Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi – who were thrilled to be working with the Croydon born supermodel for the first time – and styled by Fashion Director Charlotte Stockdale. This is the thirteenth time Kate has appeared on the cover of i-D. Far from being unlucky, it shows yet another side to the world’s most famous model. “We wanted to explore a part of Kate that is more unknown to the general public,” Daniele + Iango explain, “her fragility, innocence and purity.” The accompanying story is an endless roll call of looks that shows Kate is still a stylist’s dream. “Kate has a face that ranges from intensely pretty pixie to stunning woman, depending on her expression at the time,” continues Charlotte. “I think her strength is that she is actually both these and more. Her personality is multi-faceted and in depth.” Kate herself knows this. In an i-D interview in 1993, she stated, “Fashion is more than just a picture with clothes in it… you have to put emotion into it.” Kate took a decision early on to give few interviews, deciding instead to let her pictures do the talking, and flicking through her 20 years of shooting for i-D they tell quite a story! There’s playful Kate walking the streets of NY’s Meatpacking District with her arms around Naomi Campbell [The US Issue, No. 131, August 1994], or with a hobby horse and a bikini in August 1997 [The Obsession Issue, No. 167 - Terry Richardson, of course], to sassy Kate – with a parka and a soldier’s hat on March 2001’s cover [The Renaissance Issue, No. 207] – and sultry Kate in her most recent covers by Alasdair McLellan [The Back to the Future Issue, No. 310] and Emma Summerton [The !#*? Issue, No. 282, November 2007].
Ask fashion insiders how Kate – the girl from Croydon discovered in an airport in 1988 by Storm Models’ founder Sarah Doukas – became the icon she is now, as i-D did in 2010, and her refreshing normality comes up time and time again. “She is almost perfect, but not quite and that makes you love her even more, because it makes her human,” explains Mario Sorrenti. While Stella McCartney praises the fact that “she is always herself,” and i-D Beauty Director Pat McGrath loves that she has “remained an ordinary girl.” Indeed – “I think we all still love Kate because whatever has been done in the photographs, she never wears a mask,” stylist Alistair Mackie concludes. “She doesn’t act or pretend. It’s her.” Part of Kate’s longevity also comes down to her ability to express the many different sides of her personality. Asked how many lives she’s had as i-D i-Con in 2007, Kate came back with the pithy reply: “A few more than nine!” Now 38, Kate has been working for nearly 25 years yet it’s almost as if it’s all just getting started. Kate Moss, i-D loves you and we always will. Don’t go changing.
Text: Lauren Cochrane
Photography from top left: Kate by Corinne Day, 1993; Kate and Naomi by Steven Klein, 1994; Kate by David Sims, 1996; Kate by Terry Richardson, 1997; Kate by Tesh with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2001; Kate by Craig McDean with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2002; Kate by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2003; Kate by Tesh with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful and Judy Blame, 2004; Kate by Tesh, 2005; Kate by Emma Summerton with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2007; Kate by Sølve Sundsbø with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2009; Kate by Nick Knight, 2010; Kate by Alasdair McLellan with Fashion Direction by Edward Enninful, 2010; final four images: Kate by Daniele + Iango with Fashion Direction by Charlotte Stockdale, 2013.