— The First Portrait

One of the sweetest, and earliest, pics of Kate Moss.

A selection of photographs of Kate Moss, aged just 14, are expected to reach £1,200 each at an auction held on November 23. The pictures, taken by David Ross, will be sold as part of Bloomsbury Auction’s Photographs sale.


“Kate was a cool character,” said Ross. “She seemed like a tough or resilient typical teenager, comfortably fronting me up, perhaps covering up her nerves. I suppose what was refreshing was that she was honest. She wasn’t trying to prove anything or act above her station. She didn’t try to adopt a model attitude of self-absorption and superiority, which at the time was becoming public via media sensation. She was untarnished. A blank canvas, as other writers have put it.”


“The First time I met Kate Moss was on 25th October 1988, says Ross. My doorbell rang and it was the porter to the building of the mansion block I was living in at the time in Earls Court. He said, “there’s a young girl at the main door and I’m not sure what she wants, she seems a bit lost”….


I went with him to the main entrance to find this skinny kid who seemed a bit perplexed so I asked her, “can I help you, are you looking for your Mum?” She said, “are you David Ross?” “Yes I am “, I replied. “What can I do for you?” And she said she was told to come and see me by Sarah at STORM Model Agency.


I was quite surprised as she was so young and unaccompanied. I asked her what her name was and she said Kate, only I didn’t have her booked in till the following day. Again, I asked her where her mother was and she said she came by herself. “From where?” I asked. “Croydon” she said…


As I now know, it was the school half term at the time and Kate just up and went by train and tube alone to find me as instructed. However, I was not accustomed to photographing teenagers without a chaperone of some kind present and I imagine I felt a lot more uncomfortable than she did at that first meeting.


So this was a delicate situation; while I was not that much older than her, I knew how she would have felt that if I’d said, “go home and get your Mum” . So I apologised to her and said to her that I am simply not allowed to photograph her on her own and she must be accompanied by someone. I felt awful telling her, but she would have to come all the way back with somebody else the following day, as I wasn’t prepared for her till then anyway. I suggested that she bring a couple of changes of clothes if she can to give her agent a chance to see a variation.


Anyway, I never thought I’d see that kid again but lo and behold, there she stood the same time the next day on 26th October 1988, on a brisk but clear day with a school friend on my doorstep, ready for her first professional test on camera, as arranged by the agency.


She was a lovely, sweet girl who seemed bewildered initially, I guess. But I told her that she looked great and that she didn’t really have to do anything. She soon relaxed, taking direction comfortably.”


The rest of course is history…..


Via Vogue


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