How does an icon get made? How did Arizona Muse, for example, at the age of 20, suddenly have Miuccia Prada cast her to open her show, have Anna Wintour dedicate an editor’s letter to her, and then just a few weeks ago at the age of 23, have Estee Lauder name her as their new face, causing the kind of fashion fandom associated with the supermodels era twenty years ago? Kate Moss, who was named one of the 100 most influential fashion icons of all time this morning, had a similar catapulting start to her career. In a new book dedicated to her iconic status, author Christian Salmon examines in great detail the path that brought her to the kind of priceless fame reserved for only a handful.
Kate Moss: The Making of an Icon chronicles how Moss became as iconic for her off-duty outfits as she did for her modelling. Salmon is a French writer, editor and academic, and is a Public Intellectual in a country that treats fashion icons as deities. Originally published under the more provocative title, Kate Moss Machine, its pages are just as likely to reference the French philosopher and sociologist Jean Baudrillard as they are Karl Lagerfeld, wrapping up the stories and the author’s dissections for you in a complex coffee table book that you might actually learn something from.
And those things don’t just include the following mind-boggling facts: that she’s appeared on 300 international Vogue covers and counting, that she’s only 5’7 and was discovered at age 14, which is also the same number of millions she earned last year. Unlike a simple biography peppered with great pictures, The Making of an Icon tries to get to the bottom of why, tying her legendary status to universal themes that cut across generational gaps.
Many people that have worked with her try their best to describe the Moss appeal as best they can, often revealing little bits and pieces that create a well-rounded whole of Moss’s timeless appeal. Photographer Nick Knight, who shot Moss for some ten Vogue covers, says in the book, “There is a normalcy about her. She’s very beautiful, of course… but she comes from the same world as I do. She’s trendy, she’s cool, she’s funny, but in the end she’s a young British girl like the others.”
Both accessible and unapproachable, she has fascinated the fashion industry for more than two decades. Find out why you’ve been so infatuated with her yourself here, because Kate Moss: The Making of an Icon goes on sale today.