| Kate: Future imperfect'
London, Sept. 16: The career of Kate Moss as the face of fashion houses from Christian Dior to Burberry hung in the balance yesterday after photographs appearing to show her snorting cocaine were printed in a national newspaper.
The model, who denied taking illegal drugs as recently as two years ago, faces an doubtful future with at least five big brands that earned her ' 1.3 million last year.
Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Burberry and Rimel all declined to comment on the allegations, which the Daily Mirror claimed were supported by a 45-minute video of Moss preparing and snorting lines of white powder.
The newspaper claimed that the video, which also appears to show Moss’s boyfriend, Pete Doherty, taking drugs, showed her consuming five lines of cocaine at Doherty’s recording studio in west London.
Doherty, the singer in Babyshambles who was thrown out of his previous band for drug use, has previously admitted smoking crack cocaine but claimed in May that he had dropped his habit. He was fined '700 last month after he was caught carrying crack cocaine and heroin at Oslo airport.
The allegations have thrown Moss’s representatives and the companies that use her into a panic. Chanel, the fashion label that uses Moss as the face of its Mademoiselle perfume, would not confirm that she still worked for them.
“We have no comment to make,” a spokeswoman said.
When asked whether she continued to represent Christian Dior, a spokeswoman responded: “Good question. I can’t answer that.”
A spokeswoman for Roberto Cavalli, the Italian couturier, said that she was not in a position to confirm that Moss still worked for the company.
Moss’s representative at the Storm model agency would not return calls.
In July, Moss accepted undisclosed libel damages over a Sunday Mirror claim that she had collapsed in a cocaine coma in Barcelona in June 2001. The newspaper accepted that the story was untrue and apologised.
Moss, 31, the sole shareholder of her company Skate Enterprises, awarded herself a salary of '131,000 and dividends worth '200,000 last year.
Public relations experts believe that she has a grim battle ahead of her. Max Clifford said that Chanel and Rimmel would be examining their contracts. “She is coming to the end of her career, but this is not going to help,” he said.
Mark Borkowski, whose clients include Harvey Nichols and Pavarotti, said that the images, if authentic, would be unacceptable to her paymasters. “She has done more to promote the idea of rock chic than anyone else, but there’s a difference between flirting with that image and being too closely associated with the sleazy side of rock ’’ roll,” he said.
“You can play with it as long as you aren’t nailed and she has been crucified.”
He added that labels would feel responsible because their brand was admired by young girls.
“She is promoting glamour to a younger and younger audience, but now she has as much glamour as a disinfected bargepole. It’s a disaster for some of those brands.”
But Lisa Armstrong, The Times’s fashion editor, said that drugs were so commonplace in the fashion business that brands might take no notice. “The reason they love Kate is the danger she brings,” she said. “As long as she gets up in the morning and looks beautiful they will still love her.
“She is very naughty. But she’s going out with Pete Doherty, for God’s sake. She is not going to be on herbal tea, is she'”