In an interview with Dazed, the 90s icon gave her unfiltered thoughts on the accessory in a lightning round game of “chic or not chic”. When asked what type of hat she would wear today, Kate Moss replied that she’s “a bit over hats” but did recently buy a balaclava for herself and her daughter Lila Grace, 19.
“Amazing! A striped balaclava from Marc Jacobs the other day,” she told the outlet. “Gorj!”
Balaclavas have recently gained popularity in the fashion world, especially during the colder months. The balaclava, sometimes called a ski mask, is a form of cloth designed to expose only the eyes and mouth. Balaclavas became a staple of winter street style in 2021, with more than 250m views currently attached to the hashtag #balaclava on TikTok.
While balaclavas are adored by celebrities like Kanye West, seemingly as a shield of protection from flashing paparazzi cameras, Kate Moss maintained that she’s just a “normal person” who enjoys walking her dogs down the street like everybody else.
“I don’t do, like, sunglasses and hats and security guards,” the 48-year-old model said. “I walk down the street by myself with my dogs. And nobody looks. Someone might ask for a picture, and I just say no.”
“I like to think I’m just a normal person, and everything else is just my job,” she added. “When I walk down the street I’m just normal, people treat me normally. I’ve been around a lot of people who try to disguise themselves and the more they do it, the more attention they get.”
The balaclava takes its name from their use in the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 during the Crimean War, where British troops there were knitted the headgear to keep warm.
More recently, balaclavas have become a mainstay of runway fashion. In the last year, the accessory graced fashion collections from the late Virgil Abloh, to Stella McCartney, to Givenchy’s balaclava with built-in horns priced at $480. Knitters on TikTok have featured their homemade crocheted balaclavas on the app, while more affordable brands such as ASOS and Free People have had their turn at the trend.
But not every iteration of Kate Moss’s favourite headgear has been successful. In 2019, Gucci was forced to stop selling its balaclava-style jumper due to the sweater’s racist imagery. Nike removed its balaclava after it was accused of profiting from and promoting “gang culture”. And most recently, Kanye West’s black mask at Paris Fashion Week was actually legally forbidden under France’s Law of 2010-1192, which prohibits concealment of the face in public spaces.