This week, Kate Moss is nearby, in a manner of speaking. The supermodel (to use a slightly dated term) was on Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the Caribbean for her 40th birthday.
As The Mirror (and everyone else) have reported, the tycoon gave the newly mature Ms Moss a rather mature sort of birthday present – sole use of his luxury island, a treat that would normally leave you little change from £300,000.
The malicious might say it was the sort of buy-yourself-something-nice gift we give to people we don’t know what to get. But then again, what else do you give a girl who’s had it all – fame, fortune, fabulous bone structure, high life and low life, a long relationship with Johnny Depp years ago – and who won’t see 30 again?
For 25 years, Ms Moss has lived that wise Aristotlean observation: personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference. Her first modeling shot, as CNN chronicles in this rather remarkable series of photos – was taken by British photographer David Ross in 1988 when she was just 14. The photographer later said that despite her cluelessness, the teenage Moss “just had a certain edge in her natural expression and there was a look in her eye in her very first pictures that we are still familiar with today.”
Ms Moss went on to embody the new grunge era for Face magazine, got noticed by Calvin Klein and 34 covers for British Vogue. She is able to do (and sell) high fashion and high street stuff and has been artist’s muse as well. She remains one of the world’s highest paid models and in December, she was honoured at the British Fashion Awards with a Special Recognition Award for her 25 years in the industry. Like Jeeves, the perfect (if fictional) template for Gentleman’s Gentleman, perhaps she might be the quintessential, real-life Model’s Model?