Why this start-up founded by the world’s most famous model just might succeed

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

It’s not as if Kate Moss needs the money. The supermodel earned $5 million alone last year and not only ranks among the world’s top 20 earners in the modeling industry but, at 42, is also the oldest (OK, she probably doesn’t want me to mention that). Today, she’s also one of the richest women in Britain with an estimated net worth of more than $75 million. But for much of her career Moss has been missing what most people who start up a new business crave: control.

This month, she gets her control. According to this story in the Business of Fashion, she’s starting her own talent agency called the Kate Moss Agency. “I wanted to spread my wings,” she told the publication. Like many business owners I know, Moss is turning entrepreneur because she got tired of being just a model for hire and working for someone else. The good news is that she seems to be doing the right things right off the bat.

Unlike other celebrities, Moss isn’t jumping into a business where she has no experience or background. She’s just simply starting another modeling agency that will be competing with thousands of other modeling agencies around the world.  However, she’ll be taking her 27 years (sorry again Kate) in the business and applying what she’s learned to (hopefully) create an agency that’s better than the rest. It’s not a groundbreaking idea. It doesn’t need to be in order to succeed.

Of course, Moss’ advantage is that she can build on her long recognized brand- and that’s her vision. She plans to further grow the lifestyle image that she started with retailers like Topshop, Longchamp and Equipment. She’ll first be representing models but then will be actively involved in signing other talent that can sing and act too. She’s had plenty of time to figure out who will be likely be more successful than not. She’ll spread the word on the company’s Instagram account, which will consolidate her million followers.

Unlike some entrepreneurs, Moss is smart enough to know she can’t do this alone. So she’s surrounding herself with a competent team, starting with her long time booking agent (who also left her former talent agency) and Camilla Johnson-Hill, a well-regarded business manager in the industry to work along with her. These are people who will help Moss, as CEO, deliver on her ideas. “She will not do anything that doesn’t seem authentic to her,” Johnson-Hall told Business of Fashion. “Every project is led by her, creatively and business-wise.”

Many entrepreneurs I know start businesses without experience, capital, a vision or the right team. And this is why so many of them don’t succeed. Of course, Moss may fail too.But she’s doing all the right things to improve her odds considerably.


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