It’s common knowledge, among the fashion industry, that supermodel Kate Moss’ first editorial cover was for the British culture magazine The Face. But many incorrectly identify the July 1990 issue, which shows a fresh-faced Moss wearing a headdress, as her first cover; Moss actually made her magazine debut two months earlier on the cover of the May 1990 edition, which celebrated that year’s World Cup.
Phil Bicker, a senior photo editor at TIME and then art director at The Face, chose Moss for the May cover after meeting with photographer Corrine Day months earlier. Day’s portfolio had included images of Moss, and Bicker was instantly drawn to her. “I recognized something in Moss that reminded me of my youth,” says Bicker, who grew up in London’s northwest suburbs. “She didn’t represent the highbrow, glamorous fashion world that dominated magazines at the time—The Face was more about street culture, and I saw that in Kate.”
Two months later, it was that same look of raw youth and personality that catapulted Moss into the stardom she still enjoys. The July 1990 cover on “The 3rd Summer of Love” cemented the Moss look for which she’d become an icon. “It was a refreshing look, to see Kate photographed with no makeup, smiling with daisies around her neck,” Bicker says. “People fell in love with her because she was a real person—and that’s something Kate has held onto, even as she’s appeared on other magazine covers with tons of makeup slapped on. Her personality still comes through.”