These days, Kate Moss is widely considered to be one of the greatest supermodels to ever grace the planet.
Over the course of her three-decade-spanning career, Moss has become a household name thanks to an endless list of legendary commercials, editorials, magazine covers, and catwalk appearances. With her slight 5’7″ frame, waifish figure, and super wide-set eyes, she single-handedly changed the face of the industry and ushered in a new dominating, if seriously controversial, aesthetic for models.
But once upon a time, back in the early ’90s, Moss was just an ingenue looking to make a name for herself in the fashion world and that’s precisely what she did when she was cast by Calvin Klein in that now quintessential fragrance campaign for Obsession shot by her then-boyfriend Mario Sorrenti. It turns out Klein didn’t hire her because he saw an icon in the making, he was simply over the more buxom figures that he was seeing on the runway.
According to Page Six, in a new interview with George Wayne for Iris Covet Book, the designer told the publication that the reasoning behind his decision to hire Moss, who at the time was a relative unknown in the industry, really couldn’t have been more simple. “I didn’t want these girls… who had big bosoms,” he explains. “They augment their bodies. They used artificial implants and things. They were doing crazy things to their bodies. I found that offensive.”
He concludes, “I found it really unattractive, unhealthy and a bad message to send.”
While Klein’s casting decision may have just been an aesthetic reaction to what he considered an unhealthy moment in modeling, he conversely initiated a physical revolution throughout fashion that pushed models further and further towards a size zero ideal that was controversially dubbed “heroin chic.”
Moss also spoke to Harper’s Bazaar this month about the shoot, telling the magazine, “I think Calvin was really clever. He knew there was going to be something…” she said. “I knew it was a job, but I thought it was going to be a right laugh. It was the only time I got paid to go away. It’s never been like that since. Mario worked me like a dog. He was more professional than I was. He didn’t stop taking pictures even when I was sleeping. I was like, ‘Leave me alone.’ I’d wake up to the click of the Pentax. I don’t remember relaxing. I remember working. I laid down on that couch for days. Days! For days, he’d say, ‘Stay there and don’t move.’”
But whatever Klein’s logic behind his choice in casting, clearly, it more than paid off, giving birth to an enduring superstar in the process.
What do you think of Calvin Klein’s reasoning behind his casting? Who’s your favorite ’90s supermodel? Sound off below!