A fixture on the fashion scene since signing her 1992 campaign with Calvin Klein, Kate Moss has long been the subject of adulation (that child-like beauty), public scrutiny (that waif-like frame) and tabloid speculation (the famous boyfriends). But for all her celebrity, she has avoided that laudatory chronicle of fame: the celebrity biography. Until now. Katherine Kendall’s new, unauthorized biography, “Kate Moss: Model of Imperfection” hits the shelves this month. Kendall, 30, a graduate of Kent State and currently working as a Web site designer in Maryland, first contributed to the Moss oeuvre with her exhaustive Web site, Kate-site.com, in the mid-Nineties. With the site now defunct, she continues her role as Moss’ number-one fan with this sympathetic portrait, culled from Kendall’s personal archive of magazine articles (her chapter on Moss’ stint at the Priory hospital renders the incident practically heroic). WWD called Kendall to get the lowdown on her latest tribute to this fashion icon. — Vanessa Lawrence
WWD: How do you think Kate Moss would react to your book?
Katherine Kendall: I think Kate would like it. I see it as a tribute to her. And I think it just confirms her malleability and her longevity and paints an accurate picture.
WWD: What about Moss really intrigued you?
K.K.: I think [when Moss came on the scene in 1992] she represented so much more than just a pretty face. She reflects a lot of the cultural changes that were going on. On the one hand of the spectrum, we had these super-duper models and they were just living goddesses. And it’s not that Kate Moss is not beautiful, the counterpoint to the most beautiful women in the world, but she’s not standard.
WWD: Do you consider her an aesthetic ideal?
K.K.: I don’t think I am saying Kate Moss is an ideal or she is what the whole idea of perfection is. I think of it more sociologically. You know, I myself am a very curvy person. I never sat down and was like, “Oh yes, she’s the perfect; she’s the ideal.” On the contrary, it’s like, she’s got crooked legs and crooked teeth and so I’m not going to walk around saying, “I think crooked legs are the ideal.” What Kate Moss is all about is style.
WWD: What is your opinion of the whole anorexia-heroin-chic phase?
K.K.: It’s incredible the amount of societal ills that have been pinned onto her. I mean, everything from pedophilia to heroin use to anorexia and everything else in between. And in the end, I think Kate has been beat up a lot by the media. WWD: Do you think motherhood has changed her?
K.K.: I think that it seems to have centered her a little bit. She’s always talked about having a baby for a long time. So it was really no surprise when she had Lila. She seems a little bit more nested.
WWD: Do you think she might make her way into acting and music as other models have tried to do?
K.K.: If she were to go full on into acting or make a major foray into another career, there’s a great bet she’d do it very carefully. I think she’s seen what’s happened to other people. I mean, if you look at some of the disasters that have happened — I don’t think Kathy Ireland is a great actress.
Favorite Moss fashion moment: The most recent one — her 30th birthday party.
Favorite Moss photograph: In Harper’s Bazaar, I think it was in July 1994, Mario Sorrenti did a series of her which was just incredible.
Favorite Moss hairstyle: Pink hair — I think it was for Versace ’97 or ’98.
Favorite Moss boyfriend: Even though I want to say Johnny [Depp], I’m gonna have to say Mario [Sorrenti]. Enough with these tough questions!