‘I could feel there was something wrong. I got my stuff and I ran off. I can tell a wrong ‘un a mile away’
The start of her career in 1988 was traumatic and “a hard slog”, she recalled. She had to travel across cities alone for photographing castings. At 15, she had the “horrible experience” of being asked to take off her top for a bra catalogue shoot. “I was really shy then about my body, and I could feel there was something wrong, so I got my stuff and I ran away.”
She says the experience “sharpened her instincts” – “I can tell a wrong ’un a mile away.”
Her 16-year-old face was suddenly in international demand after a photographic session for The Face magazine on Camber Sands in Sussex with her photographer friend, the late Corinne Day.
Moss admits crying “a lot” about being naked. “She [Day] would say, ‘If you don’t take your top off, I am not going to book you for Elle. It is painful. I loved her, she was my best friend, but she was a tricky person. But the pictures are amazing, so she got what she wanted and I suffered for them, but in the end they did me a world of good really. They changed my career.”
The American designer Calvin Klein chose Moss for a 1992 underwear campaign as a result, but her memories of this job, posing with actor Mark Wahlberg in New York, are “not good”. She took Valium for her anxiety to get out of bed for work.
Topless again, Moss felt “objectified and vulnerable and scared”, she told Laverne, adding: “They played on my vulnerability. Calvin loved that.”