LONDON:

Kate Moss was named Britain’s Model of the Year on November 2, despite cocaine allegations that lost her millions of dollars in modelling contracts.

Moss, 32, won out over two other finalists, Erin O’Connor and Alek Wek, at the British Fashion Awards.

“Kate Moss is a fashion icon and without doubt one of the most prolific models in the industry,” the awards panel said in naming her the winner. “She has now been modelling for over 15 years and remains at the top of her game.”

The British Fashion Cou-ncil refused to comment on the potential controversy of Moss’s nomination.

Moss lost contracts with H&M, Chanel, Gloria Vanderbilt and Burberry after the Daily Mirror newspaper published photos last year of her allegedly using cocaine at a music studio where her boyfriend, Pete Doherty, was recording.

After the pictures were published, Moss publicly apologised and went to a drug rehabilitation clinic in Arizona. Prosecutors decided in June there was insufficient evidence to charge her. Since then, she has made a comeback, appearing frequently in fashion magazines and winning back contracts.

Still, some say giving an award to someone whose career has been marked by drug allegations sets a bad example.

‘Model of the Year’ is an industry accolade for the British model who has contributed the most to the international fashion scene over the last year. Leading press, buyers and industry figures choose the winner from a shortlist compiled by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and a committee.

“She’s the kind of survivor we all want to be,” said Jeremy Baker, a fashion expert at London Metropolitan University, of Moss. “The paradox is that since this time last year the scandal made her a lot better off.”

Since the allegations, Moss has won more than a dozen contracts with names including Bulgari, Christian Dior and Rimmel cosmetics. She has also signed deals with Virgin Mobile and French luxury label Longchamp. Topshop also recruited her to create a new clothing and accessories line.