ABOVE: KATE MOSS IN LONDON, JUNE 2013. STYLING: KARL TEMPLER. DRESS AND BRACELET: VERSACE.
INTERVIEW: You were really the first model where it was acceptable for any kid to put a picture of you up on their bedroom walls—straight girls, gay girls, straight boys, gay boys. Everyone had Kate Moss up and everyone agreed you were beautiful. Before you got into this business, who did you have up on your walls in your bedroom in Croydon?
KATE MOSS: I had David Bowie and Rob Lowe. I had boys. But I met a friend who had Linda Evangelista on her wall. Those famous Peter Lindbergh pictures.
INTERVIEW: Did you copy her and start putting up fashion images?
MOSS: No, I was always more into boys. But I think I had a Marilyn picture up.
INTERVIEW: Before you got into modeling, were you interested in fashion? Did you covet any clothes?
MOSS: I was more into music, but I also liked fashion. The first time I went to New York, I went with my first boyfriend, Clark. His dad had just bought an apartment in New York and my dad dropped us off and we were there for a week on our own. I must have been 15 or 16. I remember I went to Harlem and bought a goose jacket. That was the hip, hot thing. It was all about a goose. "Oh, she's got a goose." It was a leather goose, and it was so cool.
INTERVIEW: Were you excited to be in New York for the first time?
MOSS: Yeah, I was terrified.
INTERVIEW: Well, New York was terrifying back then.
MOSS: I'd only seen it in movies. With all the fire escapes that people would run down. I was so scared.
INTERVIEW: It was on a trip to New York with your boyfriend at the time, Mario Sorrenti, that you met the people that would later be your agents—Paul Rowland and Jen Ramey. You were on your way to L.A. to work, right?
MOSS: I met Jen and Paul after I'd come back from L.A. Mario and I were in L.A. because we were doing a music video together. And then we ended up staying there for a few weeks. Do you know Sharon Gault? She was "Mama Makeup" in the Madonna Truth or Dare documentary.
INTERVIEW: The one who was roofied and didn't remember how she got back to her hotel room?
MOSS: Yeah. She was the makeup artist on the video we did. Me and Mario were really young. I was 17 and he was 18 or 19, and she said, "Just come and stay with me." So we ended up living with her in L.A. for a while. We loved her. We were her babies. She was like, "My children," and kind of adopted us.
INTERVIEW: Did you like L.A.?
MOSS: Not really. Because we weren't 21 so we couldn't rent a car. We finally found someone who would rent a car but it turned out to be this old banger. So we drove around in that. We had fun.
INTERVIEW: You ended up making London your home. Which makes sense because you're British. Did you always think that would be your home?
MOSS: Yeah, always. But I've lived other places. I lived in New York for seven years, although I was always in denial about it. Even though I had an apartment there, I always pretended I was just visiting. I do love New York. But I'm a Londoner at heart.
INTERVIEW: Does that mean you, like your fellow countrymen and women, were excited beyone belief about Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge delivering a future king to England?
MOSS: I love the Royal Family. The Queen, she's fabulous.
INTERVIEW: Have you met the Queen?
MOSS: Yeah, I have.
INTERVIEW: Were you intimidated at all as a teenager when you first found yourself in a world populated by supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington? Even just height-wise that must have been a little intimidating.
MOSS: Yeah, but they were nice. And I was quite streetwise. I still knew things. I even knew about some things that they didn't.
INTERVIEW: So you weren't some naïve girl from the country who found herself backstage at a fashion show.
MOSS: Exactly. But they were amazing. They showed me the ropes, really. If I hadn't been with them, I would have been screwed. They really protected me.
INTERVIEW: Still, a runway the first few times must have been daunting.
MOSS: When I started, a lot of the models were still doing their own makeup. Now that's just unheard of. Now you'd never go in and do your own makeup before a show. I never did that—I couldn't. The first time I went to Paris for John [Galliano]'s show, no one knew that I was even a model. All the girls were lined up, and I remember Stéphane Marais said to me, "Are you in the show?" I said, "Yeah." He's like, "Who are you in the show?" I said, "I'm Lolita." He's like, "Oh my god, get her done quick." [laughs] I was just sitting there all day. I'd been there since, like, 10 in the morning. They just didn't take me for a model.
INTERVIEW: They probably thought you were someone's little sister hanging out backstage.
MOSS: Those were before the days of mobile phones. I wonder what I was doing? Chatting. I was probably just chatting.
INTERVIEW: You may be the most frequently shot human being since the invention of photography. Can you remember all of the work you've done? Do you ever run across an old campaign or magazine story and say, "I have no memory of doing this?" Are there whole periods in your career where it's a blank?
MOSS: Not a period, just certain things where it's like, "Is that me? I can't remember doing that." If you've taken a lot of pictures and done so many shoots, you can't. I remember most of them, but there are some that I don't.
INTERVIEW: Are there any particular shoots that are of particular importance to you and hold a meaningful place in your mind?
MOSS: Yeah, obviously Corinne [Day] in Camber Sands—the first one. I remember that like it was yesterday. I remember the car that we did the hair and makeup in, I remember what I was wearing, I remember everything. And then the Harper's Bazaar shoot [in 1992] that I did with Patrick [Demarchelier], Fabien [Baron], and Paul Cavaco. I remember everything about that one too.
INTERVIEW: Why were those two so meaningful to you?
MOSS: Well, they changed everything.
INTERVIEW: Do younger models come to you today for advice and protection?
MOSS: Sometimes they do, but I think it's really difficult. It's like with any young person—you can't tell anybody what to do. They have to do it their way. You can't say, "Oh please, I've been there, don't do that." Or it's like when I hear someone say, "I was talking to my friend, and she's 20 and ..." And I think, "Oh god, I don't want to hear about it. It's too terrifying." Because I'm a mother now. My daughter is only 9 years away from being 20 herself. So I'm a bit more like that. I'm more protective. But you have to go through it yourself, don't you?
INTERVIEW: Are you locking your daughter up when she turns 14?
MOSS: Yeah, absolutely.
INTERVIEW: If she wanted to be a model, would you forbid it?
MOSS: It's up to her. At the moment, she's definitely not into that. She's not into having her picture taken. She gets shy.
INTERVIEW: Young models today are social-media stars. You don't have a Twitter account. That game is not for you.
MOSS: It's just a different generation, I think. That's how they communicate. That's what they do. All the kids do it. My daughter loves Instagram. I mean, I do Instagram but I've only got 25 followers.
INTERVIEW: I have a feeling if you told us your Instagram name, you'd get a few more followers when the issue comes out.
MOSS: Yes, but I don't really want anyone to know where I am. I don't want people to know what I'm doing. That's the complete opposite of what I feel like.
PHOTO: COSMETICS: NARS, INCLUDING TRIO EYESHADOW IN DELPHES AND LARGER THAN LIFE MASCARA. HAIR PRODUCTS: WELLA PROFESSIONALS, INCLUDING OCEAN SPRITZ, EXTRA VOLUME MOUSSE, AND SHIMMER DELIGHT. HAIR: EUGENE SOULEIMAN FOR WELLA PROFESSIONALS. MAKEUP: YADIM /ART PARTNER. MANICURE: ANATOLE RAINEY/ PREMIER HAIRAND MAKEUP. CASTING: MICHELLE LEE. PRODUCTION: LALALAND. PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANTS: MATTHEW EASTON, TEDDY PARK, AND BEN SIMPSON. DIGITAL TECHNICIAN: DTOUCH. RETOUCHING: DREAMER. STYLING ASSISTANTS: ELIN SVAHN, JOSHUA COURTNEY, AND MELISSA LEVY. HAIR ASSISTANTS: CHRYSOS CHAMALIDIS, LEWIS PALLETT, AND AMBER-ROSE PEAKE. MAKEUP ASSISTANTS: MONDO LEON AND PAULA MAXWELL. SPECIAL THANKS: RIDA STUDIOS.
For more from our Model Issue, click here.
ate is as much muse as creator. She understands the power of fashion—the language and magic it can speak. She put blind faith in me—as she has done so many times in print and film and shows—at a time when I had lost faith in myself. She challenged me to dance. She dared me to dream again and inspires me to be myself again. —John Galliano