Think back to 1989 and what was considered to be the cutting edge of cool then: Flavor Flav (of Public Enemy), James Spader (of sex, lies, and videotape), acid-washed jeans and a skinny, short young girl called Kate Moss. Nearly two decades later, the first three are parodies of themselves, and Moss remains hip, really hip, a first responder in the advance guard of style. You try that. Go back and look at some photos of yourself in '89. See?
Hip is hard. It's nearly always new and young and fringy. Moss is 33 and ubiquitous. Her kind of prolonged cool takes not just hard work and great bones but also an infallible chic-tracking system.
In essence, her job is not that hip. She sells stuffor, rather, she makes consumers want to buy it. But unlike most other people who move merch, she doesn't do it by being particularly likable, or knowable, or warm or voluble. She does it simply by being in close proximity to a product while fixing her wide-set eyes on a camera.
Image is everything in this equation, so after Moss was caught on camera in 2005 in the very close proximity of cocaine, many people wrote off her career. But since then she has become more magnetic, with contracts for Burberry, Longchamp, Versace, Virgin Mobile and Nikon cameras. When her collection for Topshop, the British fast-fashion emporium, debuted in London last month, it caused a frenzy. Beauty is not really truth. But in Moss's case, it's very, very persuasive.
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