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Why Kate Moss Can Sell Diet Coke and Wellness

The model is better known for her hard living past than her taste in beauty products. But Moss’s past aversion to self-promotion is potentially setting her new brand Cosmoss up for success, argues BoF beauty editor-at-large Rachel Strugatz.
Kate Moss standing in front of her products from new brand Cosmoss. She is wearing a pink long sleeved maxi dress holding a bottle from Cosmoss.
Kate Moss attends the debut event of her new brand, Cosmoss, at Harrods. (Getty Images)

Kate Moss has had a busy summer: She was named creative director of Diet Coke, the calorie-free Coca-Cola alternative that reigned for decades before the wellness boom — and its obsession with all-natural ingredients — took a bite out of sales. Then last week, she debuted Cosmoss, a beauty brand steeped in wellness principles.

The irony.

Inspired by a new lifestyle — heavy on meditating, yoga and “being healthier,” Moss said in a Vogue “Beauty Secrets” video last week — the 48-year-old model created a line of skin care and teas, rooted in the daily rituals she’s taken up since starting to take better care of herself. The English former party girl, who during the days of grunge was notorious for her hard living, now starts her day by lighting a rose quartz candle to bring peace and calm.

In the video, Moss walks viewers through her beauty routine, including products from her new brand — a cleanser, a moisturiser, an oil that can be used on your face or ingested and a “Sacred Mist” fragrance — mixed in with her go-to’s, Laneige’s lip mask and Santa Maria Novella rose water.

The products, promotional interviews and in-person appearances are all pretty standard; Moss is following the template for the celebrity beauty brand launch we’ve become numb to. And yet, something feels different here.

“It’s wild. Kate Moss SPEAKS,” a longtime (and one of my most cynical) friends texted me last week after watching all of Moss’ beauty related videos and studying Cosmoss’ website. “I feel like she’s legit.”

I agreed. Of all the celebs shilling beauty lines, why is the one created by the woman graced with one of the most extraordinary faces of all time — one that should be, but isn’t, absolutely destroyed by her get-pissed-and-not-give-a-damn, escorted-off-EasyJet lifestyle — the one we’re going to buy?

Cosmoss is, at heart, another celebrity brand. But unlike Kim Kardashian or Selena Gomez or Hailey Bieber, there is novelty in Moss’ self-promotion.

I don’t think I had ever heard Moss speak until watching her virtual testimony defending Johnny Depp, who earlier this year won a defamation suit against Amber Heard, his ex-wife. The model has been notoriously absent from social media the past decade when every celebrity took to Instagram, Twitter and then TikTok to share the minutiae of daily life or peddle their fashion or beauty brands. She’s never tried to be something she’s not or curate a social media feed to fit into whatever aesthetic is trending at the moment.

In other words, if she is selling something with her name on it, she must really believe in it. (There was the Topshop collaboration, but that was 14 years ago.)

I watch the Vogue video on YouTube again. Moss drops Golden Nectar (the oil) in her mouth, but you can also use it on your face, or as Moss does, rub it on your decolletage. Verbiage like “The ritual of day is designed with inner peace and balance in mind. It transforms negative flows into positive, radiating energy” on Cosmoss’ site makes me want to order some “Dawn Tea” (I don’t even like tea).

Dawn Tea and Dusk Tea cost £20.00 for 20 tea bags each. Skin care is pricier; the face wash is £52, the cream £95 and the Golden Nectar £105. I’m not sold on the latter, a tincture made with blackberry CBD and a type of vegan collagen derived from a magical sounding plant in Greece called the “tears of eels,” according to Moss.

“She just seems ‘authentic’ to me and isn’t preaching, just hinting at the fact that she was a very glamorous trainwreck ­— and realised it literally doesn’t age so well,” my friend explained.

Cosmoss is definitely a juxtaposition to Moss’ Diet Coke gig. The beverage, which turns 40 this year, fell out of favour when wellness culture took up juicing, milk alternatives and “functional beverages,” a burgeoning sector of drinks with sleek branding and murky health claims. An obsession with self-care and a “beauty from the inside out” movement was Diet Coke’s demise, and I’m conflicted. I wonder if Moss can be the face of both at the same time.

Then my cynical friend reminded me that we all need some vices. And for some — even if they wake up and drink Dawn Tea that’s “good for alkalising your system” — that may be Diet Coke.

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