BY Julian Yap Joe Nin
In the world of modelling and sports, size and height is EVERYTHING.
But, not when it comes to Kate Moss and Antoine Griezmann, iconic supermodel and France’s beacon of football hope.
These two have nonetheless proven that size does not matter at all when they can make up for this limitation in big ways – by possessing natural talent, charisma, determination, drive and an eagerness to learn and most importantly, a strong and disciplined work ethic that makes them a pleasure for most to work with.
Let’s start with Kate Moss.
When you think about most models today, you think of glamazons like Gisele Bundchen, Linda Evangelista, Megan Gale and Elle Macpherson.
These models are close to 6 feet tall and it only goes up from there – Karlie Kloss for instance, is 6 foot 2 inches.
Kate Moss is not your typical model.
Hailing from the London suburb of Croydon, she is only five foot seven and had skinny, schoolgirl looks, which was often overshadowed by the likes of Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista because of their well-known Amazonian curves.
At the age of 14, she was spotted at New York’s J.F.K airport while on the way back home to England from her vacation by Sarah Doukas, the founder of the British modelling agency Storm.
Apparently, she was ‘gangly’ and ‘tiny’.
Many fashion editors have turned her down because Moss was considered too short by industry standards to walk for fashion runway shows and her body was not what people were into in the late ‘80s.
But, Doukas took a chance on Moss because of her incredible bone structure as well as having that something special, ’charisma’, which made her a total stand out.
Things started to look good for her in 1989 when she auditioned for leading fashion designer John Galliano and walked for his supposedly, last runway show in London.
In the next year, she appeared on the cover of The Face twice – first for the May issue and then, in July.
It was the latter of these two shoots, which showcased her crooked smile and her freckled face, accessorized with a quirky feather headdress that put her on the map of fashion insiders.
What’s interesting and different about these images was this new aesthetic of raw, unvarnished, black and white images that was rarely seen back then in comparison to the glossy, colourful images that constantly appeared in mainstream fashion magazines 24/7 at the time.
However, it was her move to the States when Kate Moss truly became a breakout star.
She met the creative director of Harper’s Bazaar Fabien Baron and soon after, met with legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier who shot her in a nine-page editorial feature for The Face’s magazine relaunch in 1992.
Both also worked with Calvin Klein, whom put Moss in touch with this iconic American brand knowing that they were in search for a new face to revitalise his fashion empire.
What were they looking for?
A face that was young, had this downtown New York look with an edge and somewhat resembles French model and singer Vanessa Paradis, who was Calvin Klein’s previous face.
Kate Moss was the girl Calvin Klein has been looking for.
She is the answer.
One look and Moss was hired on the spot.
She became the global face of Calvin Klein, signed an exclusive contract worth millions of dollars and posed in campaigns for CK, for Calvin Klein Underwear with Mark Wahlberg and most notably, for Calvin Klein Obsession.
The campaigns were a huge success, which helped to drive the Calvin Klein business while at the same time, propelling Moss into the centre of a controversial debate regarding the sexualisation of young women which she was known for introducing called, ‘heroin chic.’
She became a fashion legend.
The face of a countless number of brands such as Burberry and Chanel – her team doesn’t even know where to start the tally.
One of the most recognisable, most photographed and most talked about people on the entire planet.
She has graced more covers of Vogue around the world than anyone else.
Kate Moss is an icon.
But, don’t be fooled just by her looks.
She’s way more than that.
The one thing to take away from this – Moss’s physical beauty isn’t the reason why she has been able to remain in the business for such a long time.
Her staying power is attributed to her distinctive personal style, her strong work ethic as well as her ambition.
Moss’s personal style has always been constantly admired by fashion editors all around the world that it is now widely incorporated in many designers’ collections today – this effortless mix of punk with classic or retro or avant-garde she does amazingly well.
That’s not even the best part.
You never know what to expect from her and she always comes out looking natural and at ease like she doesn’t even try at all.
In 2005, she was awarded for fashion influence by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
Her personal style is what has made Moss one, if not the most sought-after muse of all time.
Next, Moss is always on time for her job especially, photo shoots.
For instance, she turned up at the studio at 9 a.m. sharp for the W cover shoot after attending last year’s British Fashion Awards gala as well as staying at the after party until at least 2 a.m. the night before.
Now that’s what I call a professional.
One of the many secrets to Moss’s success is how she consistently delivers and gives it her all at her job– something she is deemed for by many photographers and stylists, which makes her a ‘pleasure’ to work with.
For example, she shows a lot of initiative by subtly directing and taking charge of the photoshoot.
In front of the camera, she’ll say, “‘Why don’t I wear this silver belt, because it’s just so cool” – this all just shows how it’s not the clothes that dominates her but she is the one that completely owns the clothes.
AND what I Iove most about Kate Moss is that she has ambition – she wants to be more than just a working model for hire but be someone who takes control of her own destiny.
Be her own boss.
What did she do?
She opened her own talent management agency called Kate Moss Agency (KMA), which is solely focused on recruiting and mentoring young models.
However, Moss is more interested in managing people’s careers than just running a modelling agency and what I admire most about her is her requirement for not just pretty faces to join her agency but one who has talent such as singing and dancing etc.
Moss wants to create stars BUT, I highly doubt any of them will have what she has.
Kate Moss has proven that her height is not going to be an anchor dragging her down and she can achieve just as much success, if not more as the other tall, glamazonian models.
If there was one person who could understand Kate Moss’s story, it was French footballer Antoine Griezmann’s whose height was also an issue amid his rise to the top.
Standing at only 5 foot 9 inches, Griezmann was the kid nobody wanted because of his small frame and height, which made him leave France to pursue his dream of being a professional footballer.
Since he was young, he has always loved the game including those around him – Griezmann’s grandfather Amaro Lopes on his mother’s side played for Pacos de Ferreira while his father Alain was a coach at the local club where the family lived in Macon.
Even Griezmann’s mother Isabelle, remembers him writing how he would make it as a professional footballer in Grade 6.
His dream came true.
But, it was not an easy road for him.
He has been turned down by many French clubs such as Lyon, Auxerre, AS Saint-Etienne and Sochaux.
One day, everything changed.
In 2005, Griezmann had just played in a tournament, which was arranged by Paris Saint-Germain at Camp des Loges, the club’s training ground as part of a trial with Montpellier.
The funny thing is how he wore his own clothes whilst the other players at Montpellier’s tryout were wearing club tracksuits, making him stand out – he played in a T-shirt with the word ‘Jamaica’ on it.
It was that moment when he caught the attention of Eric Olhats, the French scout representing La Real.
Griezmann may have only been on the field for ten minutes, but that was more than enough time for Olhats to recognise his raw talent and the fluidity of his techniques.
Olhats gave the 14-year old his business card and asked of him to get his father in touch.
It took Olhats four days to convince Griezmann’s family to let him go to San Sebastian in Spain for the trial to play in Real Sociedad and off they went.
Griezmann stayed with Olhats at his home in Bayonne, which was an hour’s drive away from San Sebastian, back across the border in France.
It was difficult at first – Griezmann missed home a lot, especially his mother’s tartiflettes, and would be in tears when he had to return to Basque Country from Lyon airport after spending some time at his home in France for the holidays.
The language barrier was also another big problem for Griezmann since he did not speak any Spanish at all.
BUT, he persevered and surpassed many expectations including himself.
Griezmann worked very hard at school and paid much attention to learning the language of Spanish in order to enhance his chances at being successful.
In 2007, two years after moving to the Basque Country, Griezmann who was 16, was promoted to the reserve-team squad ahead of the 2007-08 season.
Even, the coach Martin Lasarte, who would eventually take charge of the senior team from 2009 to 2011 was very impressed the first time he’d ever saw him.
Lasarte expressed that Griezmann was always asking questions and was very eager to learn.
It is no surprise that he made his senior Sociedad debut in a 1-0 win against Villarreal in August 2010 after impressing for the reserve team.
Just a month before, he was part of the French Under-19 team that won the European Championship title on home soil, and he continued to move up the age groups, convincing Olhats to sign him.
Griezmann made a big splash playing for Real Sociedad, eventually becoming one of the most well-known names amongst Spain’s biggest clubs.
He was no longer anonymous.
Everyone knew him.
In his first season, he scored six goals.
He helped Real Sociedad finish fourth in La Liga in 2012-13 and that summer, they were pitted against Lyon in the final round of Champions League qualifiers.
In the first leg at Stade Gerland, he scored a stunning left-footed bicycle-kick from the edge of the area.
That was the moment Griezmann became a household name in France.
Over the next two seasons, he scored 19 goals in all competitions including one in a 2-2 draw against Barcelona.
La Real won 4-0 on aggregate and made it to the group stage.
Griezmann scored 16 Liga goals, 20 in all competitions, in the 2013-14 season – this propelled him into the big leagues in summer 2014 when he joined newly-crowned Spanish champion Atletico Madrid in a $33 million move.
He soon became a favorite as he finished his first two seasons as top scorer.
He scored 22 goals in 2014-15 – this is the most number of goals ever scored by a Frenchman in a single Liga season, which even surpassed Karim Benzema’s 21 at Real Madrid three years earlier.
He was voted La Liga’s Player of the Month for January and again in April.
In 2015-16, he scored 32 goals in 54 appearances as Atletico finished third in La Liga and reached the Champions League final.
Griezmann made his international debut and played at the World Cup in Brazil.
In the 2016 Euro Cup semifinals, he scored two goals, which was simply enough to defeat world champion Germany, 2-0, securing a place for the French team in the final.
I repeat, Griezmann was the only guy on the team that scored for France that night, making him the top scorer and Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2016,
The list goes on for Antoine Griezmann and of course, Kate Moss.
Here’s what I’ve learnt.
These two just prove how much it is up to you to put in all the work, time and effort into every single thing that you do and you can come out on top.
You have to LOVE what you do – that’s when the passion, drive and determination will start to pour out of you and be noticed by everyone surrounding you.
Success is not dependent on height at all and no one should ever think of it as a disability or a limitation of theirs but more importantly, to utilise other aspects of you to make yourself shine and be that one in a million.
Kate Moss and Antoine Griezmann are one in a million and their future is looking as bright as ever.