This sitting with Kate Moss, shot some 15 years ago, was my first ever booking in the industry. Every time someone asks 'How did you end up in this business?', I invoke this Kate Moss moment as the catalyst that started it all . This shoot by Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg was initially commissioned by Vibe magazine. As a freelancer , I had pitched Vibe the idea of doing a Kate sitting (she was already the face of CK) because I was convinced Miss Moss was destined to be a great cultural icon. In fact I had my perfect title all polished up and ready. The article was to be called 'The Acccidental Icon' . I remember every detail of the experience because I was still in school , still living with my parents in Flushing Queens. I remember vividly being on the phone with this agent at Women, an Australian gentleman named Stuart, clinching the shoot date. I was on the phone fast talking and trying to sound like a world weary magazine editor who does this sort of thing every day, when my mom bellowed in the background "Wayne come off the phone. I want to call your Auntie Beryl."
Having survived that calamity , having waited for weeks for Kate to return to New York to shoot...the booking went down. But then it never ran in Vibe. I was gutted. I remember going to the newstands for three months in a row, hands shaking, going through every page of those three issues looking for my Kate article. But the story had been killed due to the internal politics that deemed Kate as not being suitably 'urban'. I understand that glitch now. My brain was then more wired by the multi-cultural idea of 'urban' that comes out of London than it was to a New York City reality at the time.
So 15 year go by and last Fall I was at this glamorous Paris Fashion week dinner with the editors of VS magazine. I shared the Kate Vibe anecdote with them and Jakob quietly asks if I might know where those pictures are today. Jakob contacts Dana Lixenberg. Dana finds the lost contacts and last Saturday at The Kenmare, at the launch party for this VS issue , Jakob and Vibe present me with the magazine replete with 4 pages of these images. I flashed right back to that driven young man I was . I wasn't thinking money. Or fabulousness. I lived and died for the ideal of creating a different kind of fashion. Obsessed with sussing out the right model, obsessed with Kate, obsessed with packaging the right photographer with the right stylist to take an emotional picture. I wanted so badly to be a great editor and I remember being slapped from one side of the Manhattan to the next in derision. But I kept going and whether Miss Moss sees these pictures or not...whether she recalls the rain drenched day she showed up on the then perilous streets of The Bowery all my herself with a little plastic bag holding the clothes she wanted to wear...no paparazzi...no entourage....in this pure state of 90's Kateness, the fact is this booking put me on my path . So to all the kids, the models and stylists and photographers and designers still out in the rain...I say stay on your path, keep your line , keep it real because even if it is 15 years later, something beautiful that you loved doing may indeed see the light of day. Thank you Jakob and Vibe for making a little dream come true.