Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Here's Why Green Is in Cahoots with Crazy Kate

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Here's Why Green Is in Cahoots with Crazy Kate

Article excerpt

SIR PHILIP GREEN is in anxious mood. Surprisingly thin-skinned, considering the

billions he has made and his image as a rough, tough character, he is nervously anticipating the launch of the Kate Moss collection across his Topshop stores.

He doesn't know if the clothes will fly and he's aware that with such a high-profile range, rivals and critics would love any excuse to pan it.

The signs, though, are encouraging: most fashion writers who have seen the 90 pieces say there are one or two howlers, as there was bound to be, but overall, they're a winner.

There's Kate herself. As someone who likes to be in absolute control of any situation, Green finds her, shall we say, difficult to deal with. Unpredictable and mercurial, her druggy, hippy-chick lifestyle doesn't lend itself to deadlines and mass-market promotions. What if, given her tastes, she was arrested what would he do then? Already wealthy, she's in the fortunate position of being able to turn down the opportunity to make more if she feels like it. That makes her difficult to contain. She's also much bigger than Green. He has the cash but Kate is the global icon.

Laying down the law to her, as he would any employee, is impossible.

Then there's her boyfriend. The products are in her name not Pete Doherty's but Green is aware they can't be separated so easily, that every time the Babyshambles singer is photographed worse for wear or puts in another sozzled performance, it rebounds on her. The last thing he wants is for some sort of boycott of his empire because Moss and/or Doherty went too far.

A lot of Green is invested in her. He won't divulge how much she is being paid but judging by the scale of the marketing effort and the fact he is planning to take her to the US to help kick-start Topshop over there, it suggests it is rather more than the reported [pounds sterling]3 million figure. Green is jittery all right.

But I've seen him like [pounds sterling]10 million 'He knows of the industry jealous, although some turn noses up in this before: when he was considering bidding for Marks & Spencer, he was pacing around, drumming his figures, chain smoking, constantly wondering what the opposition were planning and saying. …

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