The Kate Effect: Ms Upton on the cover of US Vogue and at the 2013 Met Ball
American ‘plus-sized’ model Kate Upton has achieved many great things: she rose to fame as a veteran of Sports Illustrated, starred in a Brigitte Bardot shoot for V Magazine, stood defiant against a swathe of criticism over her size and, err, became Victoria Aitken’s new muse. But the question that kept coming up time and time again was: will she ever bag the cover of US Vogue? Today we have our answer and it's a ginormous, Anna-Wintour-approving YES.
Shot by Mario Testino, Kate is all ruffled Monroe curls and mega brows on the cover of the June issue. Her 'killer curves' look incredible in a Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit, accessorised with little more than black stillettos and a sumptuous pout. We wouldn't expect anything less than full-on gorgeousness from the 20-year-old blonde bombshell. 'American Dream Girl' the cover line reads alongside the caption 'How Kate Upton became the hottest supermodel on earth'. That's quite the accolade for a girl who was ditched by Victoria's Secret!
While Ms Upton may be more recognisable in the States, she represents a brand new direction for the entire modelling world. Kate has become famous for being a curvy girl who built much of her following off the back of a couple of scantily-clad You Tube virals (most infamously the Terry Richardson ‘Cat-Daddy’ film, currently stacking up 16.25 million views and counting) and a strong social media strategy (hello 937,116 Twitter followers). What's more, her looks are more girl-next-door smouldering than strikingly androgynous. Hardly typical ‘edgy’ industry credentials.
Terry and Kate's video became a YouTube phenomenon
So it’s little wonder the model has encountered plenty of naysayers along the way. First up was a Victoria’s Secret booker who said that Upton would “never” walk for the brand (although she was featured in catalogue shots) because her face was “too obvious”. The booker went on describe Ms Upton as, “Like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blonde hair and the kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy." Ouch!
Then there was the infamous fallout from her catwalk appearance for Beach Bunny earlier this year. Dressed in only a tiny bikini she was labeled ‘well-marbled’, ‘thick’ and ‘lardy’ by a ‘thinspiration’ site – an assertion which set the blogosphere alight with outraged supporters and adamant detractors all passing judgment. While it’s true Kate’s 34-25-35.5 vitals are larger than typical straight size models, Upton’s catwalk turn was praised for bringing a more realistic body shape into the fashion spotlight.
Proving that all publicity is good publicity, Upton’s notoriety has now translated to bona fide high fashion buzz. Along with the American Vogue cover, the former Guess model has also starred in Italian, German AND British Vogue – combining both commercial and editorial title success. Talk about having the last laugh.