The first thing you notice about Lottie Moss isn’t something you see, it’s something you hear, because this is a girl who can talk. As quickly as questions are asked, responses come hurtling back. Sharp and sassy sums up her demeanour. It doesn’t hurt that she’s brilliantly self-deprecating and a natural in front of the camera, too. As the years since her first test shoots with Storm Model Management pass, this whip-smart 19-year old is less likely to be seen as half-sister of supermodel Kate Moss, and more likely to be known on her own merits.
Our cloudy afternoon get-together is run with military precision by a small army of agents, brand reps and security teams (Moss is dripping in Bulgari diamonds, after all). Things get a little wobbly when she arrives later than anticipated – it turns out she only landed in Hong Kong a few hours before our shoot – and even worse when our photographer can’t find any suitable natural light on our floor at The Peninsula Hong Kong. But one garden terrace and a bit of reorganising later and we’re back on track, settling in to speak with the young new face of Bulgari.
You’ve said you never thought about being a model. So how did it come about?
It just sort of happened, it was one of those things. I’d never thought about it, because I was 13 and still in school. At that point you don’t even think about a career, you just think about the next years in school. Then my sister’s wedding happened and Storm came to me and they said, “We’d love to use you but we’re going to wait a few years, because school is the most important thing.” So when I left school it slowly started to become more and more work. I left school at 18, one year ago.
You were 13 when Storm approached you, did you do any shoots then?
I did test shoots. Then when I was 16 I started actual work.
Is it tough at that age to be pulled across the globe and judged on your looks?
I’m quite confident in myself. I don’t think there’s any point not being confident – I like myself! I think that’s really important in this industry because if you don’t, there’s just no way you’re going to make it. I was always confident in myself, and that’s just how I get along with it.
You’ve been exposed to a creative world all your life; do you think that has given you a unique insight into the fashion universe?
Probably. I grew up seeing my sister in magazines, and I thought that was normal, I thought everyone had a sister in a magazine. My mum would say, “Oh look, it’s Kate,” and I’d be like, “OK, yeah great, so what.” But I think having Kate as a sister means I’ve been able to look up to and see what she’s doing. I guess you learn from other people’s mistakes in a way, and so I see what she’s doing and I say, “OK that’s how you do that, and that’s how you do that,” and I guess I’ve learnt from that. And also, starting modelling from such a young age has helped me … I feel much more mature than I did when I was 13.
Best and worst parts of being a model?
Best part: staying in hotels like this! And getting to work with amazing people. You meet people in your industry – like any work – who do the same things that you do, so I have lots of friends and we go on the same jobs together and that’s always fun. So it’s like going away with your friends and getting to work in great places. Worst thing: privacy is tough. You can have people hacking your phones now, and then the paparazzi are often there. When I just want to go out for lunch with my friends and then they follow, it’s a bit annoying for my friends if they’re a bit self-conscious. I also miss my family and friends, that’s a huge part.
The press obviously recognise you – do people on the street?
Not really, no. I feel like no one knows me [laughing] – the right people know me!
Tell us about your personal style? Do you have a stylist?
I do have a stylist, she’s amazing – I love her! She styled me today. I’ve just started working with her. Because I’m so young I don’t have a clue what my style is. I just used to be like, I’ll wear whatever, and my mum always said – because my mum is very good at styling herself – she’s always said, “You just pick the most random things.” I think having a stylist is great, to realise what I should wear and what I feel comfortable in. In the future I probably won’t even need a stylist because I’ll just know, [she points] that looks good on me.
How did your relationship with Bvlgari come about?
They approached me, and I literally couldn’t say no. Obviously, it was a yes! It’s iconic; every airport, every street that you walk down, there’s the Tiffany’s, the Cartier’s, and then there’s Bulgari. It’s such an iconic place. I used to walk past it when I was younger and was just like, “Wow.” My mum was so excited. And the people they’ve had in the past, their ambassadors … I’m honoured.
Tell us about your experience of working with the Bvlgari team.
We literally have a Bulgari family. It’s great. Also, the other girls, Jasmine Sanders, Caroline, Julia, we’re all such good friends, so that makes it easier when we go to work now, it doesn’t even feel like work. You just go for a dinner and it’s with all your friends … we just have a great time. It’s so much fun having everyone you work with being amazing!
What’s your favourite piece from the Bvlgari line?
I really like the Serpenti bags, and the B.Zero1 bracelets and the rings. I think they’re really cool, really classic.
Were you wearing Bvlgari before you started working with them?
Honestly? I couldn’t afford it! But I would have loved too. Walking past the windows, I used to think I wish I could have that, I wish I could have that. Now I can!
You’re 19 years old. What would you say to those who suggest you’re too young to front such an established brand? Is age just a number?
I think it’s a great move from Bulgari if I’m honest. Because I feel like having a younger person brings another audience. I mean, I think people don’t really think about those high-jewellery brands as being available to younger people, but it really is. And this collection I’ve done the campaign for, it’s such a young collection, the bags are small … I feel big bags aren’t very young. The small bags are so great to have, you just put your lipstick and a phone in it. It’s exactly the size I would normally bring out. I have so many now; I just use them all the time.
Is Bvlgari and Lottie Moss a long-term partnership?
I hope so. I hope they’ll have me!
Will we see you on the catwalks again in September?
I’m not sure yet about September. It’s a long way in the future and modelling is a tomorrow industry. We’ll see, I hope so.