After months of waiting Playboy’s 60th anniversary cover was finally unveiled at the start of December featuring none other than Kate Moss. I, for one, respect Playboy as a brand and a whole image idea that it projects. At least over the years it has been consistent and unchanged. Hugh Hefner is an idol to many men around the world and, even in old age, lives the life that many can only imagine. When a fashion icon and downright supermodel does a cover and editorial for arguably the most important men’s magazine, you know it is something not to be missed.
There’s something about Kate Moss that has captured me over the years. Since a young age, she was everywhere I looked; in magazines, in shop windows, on bus shelters, all over. I didn’t mind being exposed to her at all as I was a fan. By the time I knew of her she was past the “heroin chic” phase and into her rock star boyfriend stage. I was struck by her beauty and her impeccable style. Even after seeing photos of her in the press smoking cigarettes or looking a little worse for wear, I wasn’t disenchanted – and I’m still not.
While nudity is pretty commonplace in fashion, it is uncommon for it to be done in a sexual way. Magazines and models alike tend to justify the nudity saying it is in an artistic way. Put a black and white filter on the picture, throw in some accessories (perhaps diamonds around the neck) and have considerably smaller breasts than your typical men’s magazine type model does – voilà! You have created an artistic, model-esque shot found in the pages of Vogue Paris and the likes.
What Kate has done is not daring per se, however it is not ordinary. If Kate was not Kate or somebody else of her status in the fashion world, she would not have been offered this cover. It is not often that fashion and pornography, what Playboy magazine is in the most simple terms, mix. Models, in general, do not have the body type that is seen to be attractive and alluring to your average male. In a completely stereotypical generalisation, men like the typical hourglass sex-symbol shape; the hard to achieve big breasts with the tiny waist and a petite but rounded derrière. Kate, like most other models, does not have the required components for this type of modelling yet she was chosen by Playboy, arguably the most iconic pornographic magazine, to do an anniversary cover.
What is different about Playboy than most other pornographic magazines is that it is less trashy than most. Playboy has a certain level of respect and prestige around it that many other publications don’t have. Over the years, Playboy has become a household name with the vast majority of people having a vague idea of what it is. If they do not know, I can almost guarantee that they recognise the bunny.
Over the years, numerous celebrities have posed for Playboy ranging from movie stars to wrestlers to lingerie models and everything Hollywood in between. What is rarer is when fashion and Playboy collide. Back in the 90s a couple of supermodels, including Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, posed for the infamous magazine but they were already the typically sexy, beautiful type that was the in look of the time.
However, Naomi Campbell’s December 1999 cover was a different story. Naomi – as a model that is considered a true supermodel due to her infamy (both positive and negative for her), countless campaigns, versatility and her truly memorable catwalk strut -pushed the boundaries with her shoot. Shot by the famed photographer known for his vivid colours and surrealism David LaChapelle, Naomi’s spread seemed less pornographic and more artistic. With some subtle product placement, perhaps a Prada handbag held or a pair of Gucci boots encasing her feet, these images could have been found in a fashion magazine. Naomi’s spread didn’t seem like just your average Playboy spread, it was something more.
That is the same with Kate’s. Ok, maybe you aren’t excited. Everybody’s seen Kate Moss to some extent naked at one point or another, it’s not like she’s never done a nude shoot before. Hell, she even done a catwalk show topless eating a chocolate covered ice cream on a stick before; nudity is nothing new to her. However, what is different is the nature of this nudity. This time it’s more overtly sexual and Kate suits it. It would be hard to find something negative to say about her in these photos, she looks damn good and that is undeniable. In the shoot she dons the iconic Playboy Bunny costume that one can only imagine the difficulty of getting into and actually looking good. The photograph themselves were shot by well-respected fashion photographers Mert & Marcus hence demonstrating another cross over between the World of Fashion and what can only be described as the World of Playboy.
Playboy, the all important client, appears to appreciate Ms Moss with the Editorial director Jimmy Jellinek saying “Having Kate Moss, a global icon and the most important supermodel of the past 25 years, appear on our cover makes the issue the perfect way to launch Playboy’s next 60 years.” A statement like that and the photographic evidence to prove it, Kate makes a wonderful cover star and will surely sell masses of copies of the magazine, giving Playboy a remarkable jump into the numerous years ahead.