At 5ft 7in tall, which is on the smaller side in catwalk terms, Kate Moss may not seem like obvious supermodel material. But in the course of her lengthy career the waif-like girl from Croydon has revolutionised the international modelling scene.
Born on January 16, 1974, she was first spotted by model agency boss Sarah Doukas as a 14-year-old at JFK airport, and started her modelling career doing unremarkable shoots for teenage magazines.
Photographer Corinne Day, one of the key players of the early Nineties "grunge" period, spotted her potential and snapped the adolescent topless and wearing a native American headdress. The picture was published on the front cover of style bible The Face
, and a Generation X icon was born.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, who lost their hipness through over-exposure or as a result of the fashion industry's constant need to reinvent itself, Kate has always been at the cutting edge of style. Today she is Britain's wealthiest model, with an estimated fortune of nearly ₤15 million.
Meanwhile, hip boyfriends including Johnny Depp
and Mario Sorrenti, who shot her in the nude for the Calvin Klein campaign, and cool friends such as Noel Gallagher, Jude Law
, Donatella Versace
and Stella McCartney
have ensured the supermodel's place on the social scene.
In 1998, Kate made headlines when it was revealed she'd checked into London's celeb-friendly rehab centre The Priory after suffering what was termed "exhaustion". Although she gave up modelling briefly, saying: "I quit because I thought, 'I hate it'. It's mind-numbing, repeating yourself like Groundhog Day,
" she was persuaded back a couple of months later.
As the millennium began, she cut off her trademark long hair something she claimed she would never do and emerged with a peroxide blonde wedge. Suddenly all the top designers were clamouring to use her in their ad campaigns. In the end, designer-of-the-moment Tom Ford
landed her for the Gucci label.
After splitting with Johnny Depp in May 1998, Kate enjoyed in a number of relationships, including one with Jefferson Hack, the former editor of style magazine Dazed & Confused
, with whom she had a child. Lila Grace was born in September 2002, but by early 2004 her parents had decided to call it a day on their relationship.
She began dating Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty, whose addiction problems were well documented in the press and in September 2005 Kate became entangled in a drugs furore herself after tabloids showed pictures of her allegedly using cocaine. She lost several major modelling contracts, including Burberry, and issued an apology.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," she said. "I also accept that there are various personal issues that I need to address and have started taking the difficult, yet necessary, steps to resolve them."
With her modelling career hanging in the balance, Kate entered rehab. Then, just months after the scandal broke, she enjoyed one of the most incredible comebacks in the business. Reinstated as the face of Burberry and with a slew of new modelling deals, she was more in demand than ever. In 2006 she earned millions and that November was crowned Model of the Year.
Still the darling of the fashion world despite her tumultous personal life, she went on to land a deal with highstreet chain Topshop to design her own range, cementing her status as a style leader.
Her love life also entered calmer waters when she married Jamie Hince in July 11 at a romantic country wedding, wearing a Great Gatsby-style dress by John Galliano.