OPEN NOTE FROM NAOMI CAMPBELL TO KATE MOSS ON HER BIRTHDAY: style icons of the 90’s

I always have a soft spot for best friends. Especially these two.

These two have shared a beautiful friendship for the past 25 years, and now, on the occasion of Mossy’s 40th birthday, Naomi has written a sweet homage to her close friend of the past two and a half decades.

She shares a lot, while also keeping some things to herself, and it’s really quite endearing to read about these two supermodels’ enduring companionship from Naomi herself!

These two were meant to be!

 

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Naomi recalls her first ever meeting with her fellow British model, saying:

“I first met Kate Moss in Los Angeles in 1992. She was 15, I was 18. It was a brief meeting but I remember her being strikingly quiet, she hardly spoke. She can be very shy at times — if she doesn’t know you she doesn’t speak. The other striking thing, obviously, was her beautiful face. I knew she was special from that first minute I saw her.”

Naomi also maintains that despite her larger-than-life status, Kate is totally down-to-earth:

“What’s Kate like? Well, she’s honest, loyal and straightforward. There’s no bullshit. She’s not pretentious in any way. What you see is what you get. I love that about her. After all, we’re both from south London — I’m from Streatham, she’s from Croydon — and from working-class families. She’s never tried to be anything else and nor have I. We know our roots.”

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Naomi quickly learned that Kate’s fashion sense couldn’t work on everyone. She explained:

“We were like sisters. Kate was cool, stylish. She’d sometimes tell us how to dress — “You need to be a bit more funky and downbeat,” she’d say. On her advice I once wore Adidas sneakers with a Galliano dress, which in retrospect was an appalling faux pas. I realized that Kate Moss could get away with things that the rest of us couldn’t.”

 

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Naomi also has too many good memories to count with Kate! She said:

“There are so, so many good times I remember, so many. There was the time in February 1998 when we flew to meet Nelson Mandela in Cape Town.

Kate helped me pull together a load of people for a benefit for The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and we did it in a short amount of time. We were adventurous. Granddad [Mandela] had a tea party for us in the Presidential House in Cape Town and he introduced himself to everyone — hairdressers, make-up artists, everyone. Amber [Valletta] was so overwhelmed she started crying. That was such a memorable trip to share with friends.”

And even after all these years, the two are as close as ever!

“Perhaps what I love best about Kate is that she tries to keep the child within her, I would never want her to lose it. Yes, she’s 40, I’m 43, but it’s always great to have your child in you. It’s that vulnerability that makes you special, that makes you do the creative things, she so has that and when we’re together it comes out. We’re like we’re at secondary school. That’s what happens with girlfriends who’ve grown up together. That’s the charm of the friendship.”

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She also shares how Christy Turlington became the third member of their party (the three are pictured above at a Versace fashion show in South Africa in 1998!), saying:

“I was lucky enough to have met Christy Turlington already, and then I took Kate under my wing and we became a three. Christy and I showed Kate the ropes. If we knew a designer was a certain way we’d explain it to her, we’d tell her how people worked and what to look out for. We’d share everything. We worked so hard in those days, and then in the evening we would go out, for dinner, to concerts. Kate lived between Christy’s flat and my flat in New York and then when we travelled to do the shows in Italy and Paris, we’d try to stay in the same hotels and on the same floor. We might have a break somewhere like Marrakech after the collections and then we’d be back to face 25 shows.”

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Then there was the time the two snuck into a Nirvana show! Naomi recalled:

“After one Sunday lunch we wanted to go and see Nirvana, who were playing at Columbus Circle, where the old Coliseum was, but we didn’t have tickets. We decided to blag it. So we get there and say, “So have our tickets been left here?” And the woman was like, “No, I’m sorry, there’s none.”

We did the whole, “that’s so weird because they are supposed to be here”. And all the while the lady is looking at Kate Moss. Her picture was all over New York for Calvin Klein at the time, and they must’ve thought, well it must be true. So in the end we got to see Nirvana and we got backstage. Where there’s a will there’s a way, we’d say.”

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Kate and I were a backbone of support for each other. We’d meet after work for dinner, we’d go out. We talked about boys, as girls do, and the boys we’d met. Once we were with a person we’d still see each other. If her birthday was in LA, I’d go there. If mine was in New York, she’d come from wherever she was. We’d make an effort to be around for Christmas, birthdays, summer holidays. If I was doing a fashion show and she wasn’t in it, she’d still come and watch.

We were very spontaneous, never pre-planned. We lived life, enjoyed life everywhere we went. It was fun. We were professional models but we were also growing up. We started so young, we were still having our teenage years.

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There are so, so many good times I remember, so many. There was the time in February 1998 when we flew to meet Nelson Mandela in Cape Town.

Kate helped me pull together a load of people for a benefit for The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and we did it in a short amount of time. We were adventurous. Granddad [Mandela] had a tea party for us in the Presidential House in Cape Town and he introduced himself to everyone — hairdressers, make-up artists, everyone. Amber  was so overwhelmed she started crying. That was such a memorable trip to share with friends.

And obviously Kate and I have seen each other through the good and the bad. Kate has stood by me through it all. You can count on your hands the friends who’ll be there for you in the tough times, and she’s one of them. We can sit down and laugh about things, but she’s also respectful and mature.

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And obviously Kate and I have seen each other through the good and the bad. Kate has stood by me through it all. You can count on your hands the friends who’ll be there for you in the tough times, and she’s one of them. We can sit down and laugh about things, but she’s also respectful and mature.

She knows me very well and while sometimes we might tell a story differently (“No, I remember you didn’t wake up on time,” or “you fell over when you were doing that”) but at the end of the day it’s that we were together that counts, that I’ve grown up with her.

One thing I like about our friendship is that we’ve learned to resolve issues one-on-one, we don’t let anyone else get involved. We don’t have to speak every day but we have a connection. Sometimes she’ll know something is up, she’ll call and say, “Are you okay?” She’s very intuitive, very instinctive. She might not tell you she’s noticed something straight away but she doesn’t miss a beat. Nothing gets past her.

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