The Longer Read

Kate at 50: Why she is finding ageing harder than her own ‘Mossy Posse’

As the coolest ‘It-girl’ of her generation reaches a milestone birthday, she happily admits she’s in denial about it but, says Peta Hicks, her friends think she may be struggling more than she lets on...

Tuesday 16 January 2024 10:48 GMT
The model faces up to celebrating her 50th birthday after being in the business for more than 30 years
The model faces up to celebrating her 50th birthday after being in the business for more than 30 years (Getty)

When Kate Moss wakes up on Tuesday 16 January, she will open her eyes to the first day of her sixth decade. As most women will attest, turning 50 is a significant milestone that can be somewhat daunting. But while many women in the public eye insist that reaching midlife and menopause is to be celebrated, it is unlikely that Kate will see it this way.

As the most iconic model of a generation, if not many generations, Kate’s looks have been scrutinised and minutely observed for 36 years. Recruited as a model in 1988 when 14, since the age of 16, she has been lauded as the summit of British cool, a validation that relies upon the insouciance of youth – something that is easy to attain at 25 but becomes increasingly difficult to sustain at 50, whatever the age-positive movement says.

To understand the significance of Kate’s big day it helps to understand how and why the world has maintained such an enduring love affair with Croydon’s finest export. As the “It-girl” of the Nineties, Kate changed the face of fashion and pop culture. Her “Third Summer of Love” shoot for The Face magazine in 1990 transformed the future of fashion shoots. Instead of the tanned, toned, Amazonian supermodels who were the norm, photos of Kate revelled in the beauty of her imperfections; pale, skinny, vulnerable and spirited.

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