Rare pictures have been discovered of a 14-year-old Kate Moss dancing and laughing in front of the camera as part of her portfolio as a child model. The pictures from what’s believed to be her first professional shoot are on display at the Zebra One Gallery in London right now.
The world-famous supermodel, now 42, was photographed by Owen Scarbiena in the summer of 1988 on the tennis courts of London’s Battersea Park. She didn’t get her break in modelling for two years after that, when she landed her first magazine cover for The Face in 1990.
The ‘bored at the bus stop look’
The photographer had an interesting approach to get Kate to give the perfect look, and speaking to Vogue ahead of the exhibition, Scarbiena told how he asked the then fashion novice to ‘pretend you’re bored waiting at the bus stop’. It is thought that he therefore discovered Moss’ trademark look which she’s retained throughout her 25 years of modelling around the world, representing some of the world’s top brands and designs.
Scarbeina explained that she was a natural at being photographed and modelling, particularly with his no-frills, minimalistic style, but he didn’t foresee how famous she’d become. The early shots show Moss with a natural, toothy grin and windswept hair. Other early shots show Croydon-born Kate in a men’s large white shirt and a pair of small navy shorts.
Building a modelling portfolio
Kate has gone on to dominate the fashion industry and possibly become the most well-known mode worldwide. But it is photoshoots such as this which enabled her to work with photographers and advisors who helped the Queen of the Catwalk to determine her ‘look’.
Speaking to Vogue about the young Moss that he had come across, Scarbiena recalled: “She was unimposing, innocent, fresh, unaffected and had a striking, nymph-like beauty… I loved the way that she sat for me in that shoot, because she demonstrated that she had no pre-conceived ideas about how models are supposed to pose or stand.”
Kate has been invited to Kate Moss: Unseen at the Zebra One Gallery which started on 23rd February and runs up to the 6th March, though it’s not known whether she will attend.