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‘I was thin because I didn’t get fed at shoots’: Kate Moss reveals dangers of the fashion industry

  • July 24, 2022

Kate Moss has revealed how a photoshoot as a teenager helped to “sharpen my instincts”, leaving her able to “tell a wrong ‘un a mile away” – as she spoke about the dangers of the fashion industry.

The British model was just 15 when she was working with a male photographer who asked her to take her top and bra off during a photoshoot for a bra catalogue.

Now 48, she told BBC Desert Island Discs that she had taken her top off when asked, despite being “really shy then about my body”.

“And he said: ‘Take your bra off’ and I could feel there was something wrong so I got my stuff and I ran away.

“I think it sharpened my instincts.

“I can tell a wrong ‘un a mile away.”

Moss grew up in Croydon, south London, and was signed by Storm Management in 1988 at the age of 14.

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She became famous two years later after a photoshoot on Camber Sands beach in East Sussex.

Moss told presenter Lauren Laverne that remembering the photoshoot – with fashion photographer Corinne Day for magazine The Face – was “painful”.

‘I didn’t want to take my top off’

“That scrunched up nose that is on the cover, she would say, ‘Snort like a pig’ to get that picture.

“And I would be like, ‘I don’t want to snort like a pig’ and she would be like, ‘Snort like a pig, that’s when it looks good’.”

Moss said she had “cried a lot” because she was uncomfortable being naked.

She said: “I didn’t want to take my top off.

“I was really, really self-conscious about my body and she would say, ‘If you don’t take your top off I am not going to book you for Elle’ and I would cry.

“It is quite difficult (to take myself back there).

Pic: AP

“It is painful because she was my best friend and I really loved her – but she was a very tricky person to work with.

“But you know, the pictures are amazing so she got what she wanted and I suffered for them, but in the end they did me a world of good really.

“They did change my career.”

‘I think I was a scapegoat for a lot of people’s problems’

Moss worked with Day again for Vogue in 1993.

The photos, taken in Moss’s flat, showed her in her underwear, prompting criticism that she was glorifying thinness and drug use

Moss said: “I think I was a scapegoat for a lot of people’s problems.

“I was never anorexic, I never have been. I had never taken heroin. I was thin because I didn’t get fed at shoots or in shows and I had always been thin.

“It was a fashion shoot. It was shot at my flat and that is how I could afford to live at the time.

“And I think it was a shock because I wasn’t voluptuous and I was just a normal girl.

“I wasn’t a glamazon model, and I think that shocked them.”

‘Everybody I knew took drugs’

In 2009 she was quoted by fashion website WWD as saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, but she told Desert Island Discs the words had been taken out of context as a “soundbite”.

She also spoke about photos published in 2005 appearing to show her using cocaine with then-boyfriend Pete Doherty.

She said: “I felt sick and was quite angry because everybody I knew took drugs, so for them to focus on me and try to take my daughter away, I thought was really hypocritical.”

Asked why she had apologised publicly, Moss replied: “I kind of had to apologise really because if people were looking up to me, I had to apologise.”

Johnny Depp Kate Moss in 1995. Pic:John Barrett/PHOTOlink /MediaPunch /IPX/AP

‘I know the truth about Johnny’

Moss also spoke about her ex-partner Johnny Depp and his recent libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Moss and Depp were in a relationship between 1994 and 1998 and she testified on his behalf during the defamation lawsuit.

Heard had mentioned a rumour that Depp pushed Moss down the stairs while they were together, but Moss said: “I know the truth about Johnny.

“I know he never kicked me down the stairs.

“I had to say that truth.”

Speaking via videolink from Gloucestershire, Moss told the court that she had instead fallen down the stairs, injuring her back, and Depp had come to help her.

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