As rumored, Kate Upton covers the June 2013 issue of US Vogue. This marks the model's first ever American Vogue cover. The mag is calling her the "hottest supermodel on earth" and "America's favorite bombshell." And she's not even a Victoria's Secret model.
Mario Testino lensed her and her "killer curves" cover story, in which she wears a lot of swimwear (only because it's for a summer issue, we're sure). She looks gorge and vaguely retro throughout.
She's also the first model to cover US Vogue since Kate Moss's wedding issue in September 2011. Either Vogue has a thing for Kates or perhaps being the fourth-most-popular search on Yahoo in 2012 is deserving of a Vogue cover (of course by that logic, Kim Kardashian would have one by now and that ain't happening).
Vogue's Lizzie Widdicombe traces her social media-driven rise to fame and marvels at the fact that she's so appealing despite having curves.
Speaking of which, Upton opens up about criticism of her weight following her latest Sports Illustrated cover: She says it was "hard at first" and made her wonder, "Is something wrong with me?" But she eventually came to terms with it:
The things that they’re rejecting are things that I can’t change. I can’t change my bra size. They’re natural! I can work out and I can stay healthy and motivated, but I can’t change some things. I really just live my life. I love my body. It’s what God gave me! I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great.
It sounds like she's fine with not looking like a traditional runway model, and she has a sense of humor about it: “It’s kind of funny to think, Oh, wow, the news is talking about whether I’m fat or not.”
We also learn that Upton wasn't always the curvaceous bombshell she is today. According to Upton's sister Christie, "she was stick-thin and flat for the longest time," until, Upton says, "It all came at once." That's when she started modeling in Miami, but her rise to success was no accident.
At 18, she went to New York, cold-called IMG and got a meeting:
I always had career goals. And I figured out a path I wanted to take to accomplish those goals. If that meant calling the best modeling agency in the world, that’s what it meant.
The agency’s senior vice president, Ivan Bart, told Vogue that Upton clearly wanted to be more than just a model:
I think a lot of her success is about her confidence and her ambition. Not to mention charm and wit. Kate actually wanted to be known by a large audience. She said, ‘If I’m going to make it as a model, I’ve got to be a celebrity.’ That’s what makes her a twenty-first-century model.
It doesn't sound like modeling is Upton's end game. There's acting--she's set to star in The Other Woman, a comedy alongside Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann.
And..designing? “I would love to have my own lingerie line,” she says. What else?
Click through for a couple more photos and head to Vogue.com for more.