We now recognize Kate Moss as the face of a generation. Her refined, elegant features changed the face of the fashion world in the 1990s and heralded in a new era of supermodels. But one man knew her before her rise to fame, when she was a young model on the brink of success. Mario Sorrenti was just 19 years old when he met Moss. A self-taught photographer, he was working as a model to gain experience, travel, and expand his horizons.
It was the summer of 1991 and they’d met on a modeling job in London. “I remember sitting next to her and feeling like my heart was going to stop; her beauty overwhelmed me,” he recalls. This led to two years together, as the young creatives moved into adulthood. Moss was still living with her parents and Sorrenti was couch surfing, but they spent every spare moment together and Sorrenti was photographing everything along the way.
Moss was his muse, and his candid photographs show the relaxed intimacy of a young couple in love. Sorrenti recalls being so poor that he couldn’t afford to develop single prints, so instead printed contact sheets. He would then cut out his favorites and glue them to the inside of his diary. It was these images that would inspire Calvin Klein’s 1993 Obesssion campaign, which the two worked on together.
As often happens, young love eventually faded and the couple split. Sorrenti went on to have a successful career and is known for his work in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and W magazine. His new book Kate, published by Phaidon, is a loving look at his time with the young supermodel. Across 50 tritone photographs, readers have a never before seen glimpse into Moss’s early life. Whether on vacation or lounging in bed, Sorrenti captured every moment of this pivotal moment in Kate’s life.
Kate is a stunning portfolio presented in a clamshell box cover, complete with an introductory essay by Sorrenti. A special limited edition with a signed photograph by the photographer is also available.
Kate shows the intimate portraits photographer Mario Sorrenti captured of this then-girlfriend Kate Moss prior to her superstardom.
Mario Sorrenti: Instagram
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Phaidon.
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