Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model Kate Upton has been gradually chipping away at the glass ceiling between swimsuit modeling and high fashion. After first appearing in Vogue wearing a black coat and boots last June, the Michigan-born, Florida-bred model -- known for her how-to-"Dougie" dance video on YouTube - has shattered that glass.
In the November issue of the fashion glossy, Upton appears in a 7-page designer sportswear spread (and yes, there is a bathing suit photo too) photographed by legendary shooter Steven Meisel, with a headline that declares her “The New Girl.”
Upton 'arrived' on the heels of Lady Gaga’s recent 30-lb weight gain and subsequent Body Revolution, Girls creator/star Lena Dunham’s pride in her thighs, Christina Aguilera's delight in her curves, and Robyn Lawley becoming Ralph Lauren’s first plus-size model
Upton, who is Michigan congressman Fred Upton’s niece, tells Vogue: “I think it’s important to look at magazines and think a healthy lifestyle is attainable,” she says. “Now that the fashion industry likes the idea of me, I’m happy if I can have an influence.”
"I don’t want to starve myself,” Upton tells Vogue. “I still want to hang out with my family and be a normal girl. You have to be confident, and that doesn’t mean starving yourself."
She is OK with not being a sample size 2 .
“I’m sure every girl can relate,” she says in the article. “You go shopping and you’re not the same size in every brand—some look good on you and others don’t.”
As for her swimsuit modeling career, she explains that growing up in Florida, a swimsuit was the key garment in every girls’s wardrobe. “It wasn’t a big deal to be in a bathing suit. Now, whenever girls come up to me saying they’re happy to see I am confident about my body, it makes me feel good that I am contributing in a way among people my age, people who could be my friends.”
After her second Vogue shoot, the next logical step is a cover. Interestingly, former French Vogue editor, Carine Roitfeld already beat her previous employer to the punch by putting Upton on the cover of her new fashion magazine, CR Fashion Book, and inside holding ducklings and a baby.
The French editrice explained her choice to The Daily Beast: 'I didn’t want a normal model. I wanted someone with a sensual body, someone who could be a mother for all these babies..."
To see more photos of Kate in Vogue, click here.