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“Lila’s The One Setting Rules For Me”: Kate Moss On Her Model Daughter – And Lila On Her Super Mum”

Model mother-and-daughter duo Kate and Lila Moss reflect on the ties, the memories and, of course, the clothes that bind them. As told to Hayley Maitland. Styled by Edward Enninful

Kate on Lila:

I had an easy pregnancy. Sitting for Lucian Freud every night until two in the morning for months and months was as close as I came to “preparing” for parenthood, although I did randomly spot a copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting in our library the other day, so I guess I must have read it at some point.

I’m lucky, because a lot of my friends had babies around the same time. Sadie [Frost] and I actually got pregnant two weeks’ apart on the same holiday to southeast Asia for my 27th birthday – me with Lila in Thailand, Sadie with Rudy in Cambodia. Lila’s loved Thailand ever since the Tooth Fairy came when we were on holiday there once; she’s a lot more generous in baht than pounds. So I had this little tribe around me as a new mum, whether I was in London or in the Cotswolds or wherever.

I kept working after I had Lila, of course, but I shifted most of my jobs to the UK, and kept her away from the craziness of sets and backstage and everything. It didn’t take long to realise she wanted mummy to be mummy, not a model in a wig. She’s still traumatised by the wigs, you know – if I put one on, she’s immediately like, “Take it off, take it off!” And, honestly, staying in England meant I could be around to hang out with Lila and all of my godchildren as they got a little bit older, which I loved. The whole gang would come to us for Christmases in the country. The grown-ups would be up all night wrapping presents, taking bites out of mince pies and dusting flour around the edge of our Hunter Wellies to prove that Father Christmas had been.

There were still rules in our house – always say please and thank you; never go out with wet hair or you’ll catch a cold – even if I wasn’t that strict. Now that she’s 21, Lila’s the one setting rules for me: wear SPF50; quit smoking… Although she did give me this cigarette case as a gift recently that I just love. She’s definitely got my magpie gene, which is great when we’re shopping together at Saint Laurent or Lovers Lane, and less great when she’s squirrelling through my closets for vintage Galliano or Westwood to steal. I think she might have pinched my boots today, you know…

She’s flown the nest now, and got her own place in downtown New York, but she’s still so young in my mind. I feel like I’d already lived quite a few lives by Lila’s age. I’d gone abroad. I’d had one serious boyfriend – and moved on to the next. In a lot of ways, though, Lila is so much more grown-up than I was in my 20s. Watching her establishing her career as a model takes me right back to the ’90s when I was just starting out, but I know that things will be different for her. She understands she can say no, for one thing, which I never did, and she has the right people around her – I’ve made sure of that. And let’s face it, she’s a lot more sensible than I was back then. I mean… thank God. Ha!

Lila on Kate:

My mum’s always been the sort of person who’s up for anything – still is. Earlier this year, when I was visiting her in London, I realised there was a supermoon in the middle of the night, and decided I needed to burn some paper and do this spiritual cleansing ritual. She’d already gone to bed, but as soon as I asked her for a lighter, she jumped up and came out into the garden with me. I’m amazed we didn’t start some kind of fire.

When I was growing up, she always brought any kind of childhood fantasy to the next level. Our garden in the Cotswolds had these antique playhouses and a wooden caravan, and in the summer she used to stage a “mini Glastonbury” for me and all of my godsiblings – although now that I’ve been to the real Glastonbury, I realise how PC her version was, all of us roasting marshmallows around a fire together. Of course, she would always be dressing people up, too – dressing me up, dressing my friends up, dressing anyone up who would let her, really.

She always kept her work life separate from our home life, though I do have one memory of her taking me with her to a Topshop meeting, and everything grinding to a halt while she tried to teach me how to blow a bubble with bubblegum for the first time. When I started school, I began to realise how fascinated people were by “Kate Moss, the supermodel”, but to me, she was still just the person who wouldn’t let me use my phone at the dinner table and made me come home from parties in Notting Hill earlier than any of my friends. It’s only at, like, 15 or 16 that I began to realise she might actually be pretty cool. I’d started to get interested in art and design, and my dad [Jefferson Hack] said to me, “You do realise that your mum has a lot of pieces by some of these artists you love in your house, right? Marc Quinn, Francis Bacon, Damien Hirst…”

I don’t know that my mum expected me to go into fashion, really – I’m quite shy, like her – but she’s fully supported every decision I’ve made. She hasn’t helped me with my walk, though. She’s like, “You just have to feel it. I don’t know what I do. I just do it!” I’m like, “Cool – off to practise some more, then…”

That’s typical of us. She’s more carefree where I’m more organised. She’s intuitive, I’m disciplined. I know what I’m doing on a Wednesday afternoon a month from now, whereas she has a more… lax approach to timekeeping. It’s a good balance. Even now that I’m based in New York, we still FaceTime every day. She’s the first person that I turn to for advice, and I’m the first person to volunteer to road-test any new Cosmoss products. And the second I touch down, I’ll call her and ask, “Can you put a roast chicken in the oven?” Even after all of these years, it’s my favourite.

…..Order a copy to know further…….


Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 13 × 10 × 1 in


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