Kate Moss, The Brand

Kate Moss has, in effect, been a brand for some time. Thanks to the combined efforts of Peter Saville and Paul Barnes, that implicit power has now found explicit form in a logotype

The logotype has been devised to adorn first Moss’s much-hyped designer line at Topshop as well as a fragrance for Coty, and subsequently other, as yet un-named projects to carry the Moss name.

“Kate is in an exceptional territory of her own,” says Peter Saville, creative director of her new identity. “She’s synonymous with possibility for young women. She’s not impossibly beautiful, or impossibly alluring, or impossibly mannered. It’s that that’s made her such an astonishing role model for her times. She’s a brand. And this next stage for her is the inevitable product realisation of that brand.”

The recognition that a singular Moss identity was urgently required came about when Storm, Moss’s modelling agency, realised that both Topshop and the perfume company Coty were simultaneously working on branding for products released under her name. “Storm realised that the graphic responsibility of the brand was theirs, that we must bring it in house and then licence it to partners, there must not be different representations of an identity of Kate Moss,” continues Saville.

Saville worked with typographer Paul Barnes to find the perfect signifier for Moss, and settled on a version of Brodovitch Albro, a typeface originally created by Alexey Brodovitch, legendary art director of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934-58. “I rediscovered it by looking at an old type catalogue and it’s always been in my mind to use it for something,” explains Barnes. “I tried it for this almost as a kind of joke, but the actual combination of letters worked well, and, as words, ‘Kate Moss’ looked really good. It embodies the spirit of Kate Moss – it’s sophisticated yet modern, and has a quirkiness and modernity because it’s almost geometric. It also has heritage – it was designed by the principle art director of his time, if not all time.”

Moss, famous for her trend-setting taste in clothes, evidently also has an eye for typography: she instinctively agreed with their choice. “We presented a list of 20 fonts to her,” says Saville, “but when she turned to the page with that one, she just said ‘that’s the one that I want’. She saw that it was right.”

This article first appeared online on CR Blog – read the discussion here


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Kate Moss: The Brand

With her first line of clothing due to cause riots in Topshop at the beginning of next month, plus other projects in the pipeline, Brand Moss has arrived, her new image sealed by an identity masterminded by Peter Saville, in collaboration with typographer Paul Barnes.

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