Supermodel Kate Moss won the Model of the Year prize Thursday night, the top accolade in British fashion. However, according to Reuters, some are questioning whether it's right to celebrate a model who was the subject of last year's biggest cocaine scandal. In September, 2005, photographs of the 32-year-old model allegedly snorting cocaine appeared on the front page of The Daily Mirror. Though the model was never charged over the allegations, critics and drug charities are wondering what kind of message the award is sending to aspiring fashionistas. "I think it's a bad reflection on the world of fashion," said Jane Ennis, editor of the British celebrity magazine Now. "The fact that she has become an even bigger icon since getting into all this trouble is fantastically decadent. Sometimes commercial interests should be set aside to look at the wider picture." George Ruston, director of Hope UK, a drug education charity in Britain, pronounced the award "unhelpful" and said that advertisers were as much to blame as Moss. But he added that for every young person who looks up to Moss as a role model, many do not, and the problems of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis abuse are worse than that of cocaine. "She's become a bigger name since the scandal and anyone who affiliates himself with her name will reap the publicity," aid Bryan Roberts, analyst at London trend spotting agency Planet Retail. Moss was originally dropped from campaigns by H&M, Chanel and Burberry, but made a surprise comeback that has her featured in at least 18 major campaigns this season, including Louis Vuitton, Virgin Mobile, and Calvin Klein. Industry experts say she is earning more now than she did before the scandal broke.
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