Words by Mario Sorrenti
I began taking pictures in New York City around 1989. I was eighteen years old, studying painting and sculpture at the School of Visual Arts; my dream was to follow in my father’s footsteps and become an artist. I dropped out six months later when I realized that photography was my real passion. I built a darkroom in my mother’s laundry room and spent most of my waking hours teaching myself to print. I carried a camera everywhere and obsessively documented the things I came across. At the time I managed to make money by taking modeling jobs here and there. After a year, the agency I worked with suggested I go to Europe to expand my career as a model. I took it as a great opportunity to travel and take pictures.
I met Kate in the Summer of 1991 on a modeling job in London. I remember sitting next to her and feeling like my heart was going to stop. I was completely overwhelmed by her charm and beauty. When the shoot ended, I didn’t think I would see her again. Several weeks later, by chance, I met her at a party in South Kensington. We hung out all night, walking into the early morning until we fell asleep in the grass in Hyde Park. We spend the next two years together, we were inseparable.
After constantly moving around we finally settled into a sweet place on Kensal Road. We both started to get noticed – she began to appear on magazine covers and I was beginning to get work as a photographer. We spent the next two years traveling and working together. In 1993 I was asked to show my diaries to Calvin Klein, which became the inspiration for the Obsession campaign Kate and I shot together.
As with most young love we went our separate ways, but we have continued to work together over the years and remain great friends.