Lila Moss weathered the highs and lows of quarantine like a lot of precocious teenagers. Holed up in the English countryside, near Oxford, the 17-year-old model offset the tedium of online school with meandering walks. She watched videos of Janaya Future Khan sounding off on matters of racial justice. She trimmed her honey-colored hair herself. “I’ve also been really into making Pinterest boards recently,” Moss added brightly, speaking over Zoom from London on a recent afternoon. She wore a black tank top, a pile of delicate gold necklaces, and jeans ripped at the left knee, looking every bit the heir to a Calvin Klein–era Kate Moss. There’s a board for fashion textiles, which she is studying, and another for wishful-thinking tattoos: “I’m a Libra, so there are loads of scales, and there’s an elephant—that’s my mum’s favorite animal,” she explained. “The photography [board] is quite raw,” she said, describing a pre-Photoshop sensibility. “Like Nan Goldin, Corinne Day.”
Was that the universe folding in on itself? It was Day who photographed an unknown 16-year-old—eyes squinted with laughter, daisy chains around her neck—for The Face in 1990, ushering Kate Moss into the limelight. Day’s luminous, stripped-down aesthetic helped define an era. Now, the next generation brings it full circle, finding inspiration where it all began.
The family resemblance—wide smile, freckle-dusted nose—is easy to spot in Lila’s campaign for the new Marc Jacobs perfume, Perfect, launching today. (The photographer is Juergen Teller, another chronicler of Kate’s waifish reign in the ’90s.) On the surface, the fragrance name has an ironic ring in a far-from-perfect year. In fact, it’s a word inked in all caps on Marc Jacobs’s right wrist—an indelible reminder, acquired after a turn in rehab, that “I’m exactly how I need to be right now,” the designer explains in the press notes.
“His approach to beauty is definitely about being yourself to the maximum, and just being as confident as you possibly can in your own skin,” Moss said, referring as much to Jacobs’s decadent selfies on Instagram as to his fascination with Mei Kawajiri’s over-the-top manicures (“the coolest nail tech on the planet,” the model gushed). To underscore that bid for self-acceptance, the perfume campaign also features dozens of people, some cast from social media, yielding a swath of faces that mirrors the New York streets. Moss might have the pedigreed set of features, but she’s one among many.