Liberty Belle Is Back but This Time the Top Model Has Her Hands Full. . . as a Mother

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON CORVIN

SHE'S the supermodel who was once called the new Kate Moss.

Liberty Ross was just eight years old when she did her first photoshoot - for an album cover with rock wildman Ozzy Osbourne.

Through her young teens she was talentspotted several times by modelling agencies, but kept turning them down.

Eventually she appeared on the cover of Vogue at 19. A bit late in life, she says.

After that, the cameras just couldn't get enough of her.

But now, at 26, Liberty has found a new happiness - and a new role - as a devoted mother.

As for the professional side of things, she has even been thinking recently about taking up acting. But for now, she just loves life with her new baby so much she's in no hurry to get back to the pressures of work.

Sitting at the kitchen table in her new house in the Hollywood Hills, complete with breathtaking views over Los Angeles, Liberty looks so tiny in her spray-on jeans and pink cashmere sweater. You can hardly believe she gave birth to her daughter, Skyla Lily Lake, just three months ago.

"The past eight months have been bliss: I spent the first half of my twenties on back-to-back flights," she says, looking exhausted at the thought. "Having a baby has given Rupert and me the chance to relax." She married advertising director Rupert Saunders in 2003.

It was nearly seven years ago that Mario Testino asked Liberty and her friends to be extras in a party shoot for Vogue.

"Mario was a friend of my brother, Atticus, and I think he liked the way we dressed up," she says. It was an auspicious start, but better still was that Testino called Liberty back the next day to do some portraits, which subsequently appeared as two full pages in Vogue.

Liberty, an unlikely candidate at only 5ft 8in with tiny size four feet, had been anointed the new princess of fashion. And her rise was meteoric: Testino booked her for the Sonia Rykiel campaign, then the Burberry campaign with Kate Moss.

"Kate really helped me," says Liberty. "She's such a cool girl and since I was 10 years old she'd always been my favourite model."

When you're as "super" as Kate, you don't need to be in shoots with other girls but, for a while, it was Moss and Ross. …