Kate Moss ‘ran away’ from an uncomfortable photo shoot when she was 15

Kate Moss. Picture: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Kate Moss. Picture: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Published Jul 25, 2022


The 48-year-old supermodel was scouted on a flight from New York to London when she was 14 and recalled one of her early experiences in the fashion world when she was asked to meet a photographer who worked for an underwear catalogue.

Moss said: “He said, ‘Take your top off’, and I took my top off, and I was 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.”

Despite being shaken by the incident, Moss thinks it “sharpened” her instincts and she can now “tell a wrong ’un from a mile away”.

The fashion icon’s career took off when she made the cover of “The Face” magazine at the age of 16, but she admitted that the cover photo shoot, by late photographer Corinne Day, was also a painful experience.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4's “Desert Island Discs”, she said: “I cried a lot. 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’m not going to book you for Elle’, and I would cry.

“It was painful because she was my best friend and I really loved her, but she was a very tricky person to work with. But the pictures are amazing: she got what she wanted and I suffered for them, but in the end they did me a world of good. They changed my career.”

Moss joined Mark Wahlberg – who was then known as Marky Mark – in a Calvin Klein underwear shoot two years later and she admitted she had taken Valium before the photo shoot to ease her nervousness at going topless.

Asked if she felt objectified, she said: “Completely. And vulnerable and scared. I think they played on my vulnerability. I was young and innocent, and Calvin loved that.”

Of Wahlberg, she added: “He was very macho and it was all about him.”

In 2016, Moss set up her own modelling agency and ensures all of her models are accompanied on shoots to prevent any uncomfortable moments, and she's been handing over advice to her 19-year-old daughter Lila, who is following in her footsteps.

She said: “I’ve said to her, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do this shoot, if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t want to model, don’t do it.”

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