The Divine Miss M

April 08 2011
Courtesy of Blavish

Lately I’ve been thinking about Kate Moss. Her boyfriend, Jamie Hince, part of the indie duo The Kills, has just released a new album and is getting lots of press coverage.  Miss Moss is always mentioned in these articles, particuarly as the press is inevitably more interested in Kate than they are in Jamie, despite his cult-like status. What particularly interests me about her is that her own brand supercedes everything else that she touches, and that her brand, despite the trouble she’s seen, always remains super cool and kind of unshakeable. Think back to the time after she was busted for cocaine use, and lost a number of her lucrative and most visible brand relationships. Twelve months later, she was bigger than ever, winning contracts for major advertisers like Rimmel, Agent Provocateur, Virgin Mobile, Calvin Klein Jeans, Longchamp, and Burberry. According to Forbes, Moss has earned more money since her cocaine scandal than ever before: her 2004–2005 earnings were $5 million, 2005–2006 earnings were $8 million, and in 2007, with  earnings of $9 million, she was the second highest paid model in the world.

Courtesy of London Evening Standard

Kate is also legendary as an influential fashion individualist, someone whose personal style and ability to mix fashion trends with vintage and personal pieces is constantly reported on in the fashion press. So here is where another part of the brand piece comes in. She designs the Kate Moss collection for TopShop, the major British high street retailer. It’s not upmarket, folks, but smack in the middle so that it is accessible and aspirational at the same time. Her next fashion designs were for Longchamp, where she designed a line of bags with prices that were a bit higher on the food chain, but not stratospherically priced like other couture bags.

So it’s once again the perfect brand of high/low that we saw in the Olson’s work as well. Women want to dress like Kate so they can be cool, too! They want to buy into HER brand — not something perceived as being fabricated by a designer, but emanating from Kate herself.

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