How Kate Upton Transformed From Swimsuit Model To 'Vogue' Cover Girl

Kate Upton was just named Model Of The Year
at the Style Awards.

The honour puts her in the ranks of other fashion favourites like Christie Brinkley and Joan Smalls.

But just one year ago, Upton’s future as a model seemed uncertain.

The industry speculated that Upton would be stuck with the identity of a swimsuit model forever.

She moved beyond her Sports Illustrated cover and has since been courted by Vogue and major fashion labels.

Upton hit the modelling scene in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. She was featured in body paint.

The next year, she appeared on the magazine's cover. Her spread was seen as instantly iconic.

She also walked the runway for a swimwear line. It seemed Upton had found her calling as a swimsuit model.

But she confessed to Vogue that she wanted more. It was her dream to walk runways and do a big fashion campaign.

Kate Upton

Yet, Upton was snubbed at Fashion Week and didn't walk a single major runway.

The Victoria's Secret casting director snubbed her, saying that she had 'that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy' and that she'd never walk in the brand's runway show.

But Upton took the upper hand, telling New York Mag that 'fashion shows were just never part of my goals.'

Shortly after she made those comments, she began making major breakthroughs in the industry.

She appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia. She is portrayed as a bombshell with ample cleavage.

But when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue, she was covered up and modelling high fashion.

She's in a swimsuit for her American Vogue cover, but it's relatively demure compared with her Sports Illustrated ones.

Her accomplishment was impressive. 'It's very rare for a girl to move from one area of the business to the other, largely due to the fact that fashion models are almost without curves, whereas swimwear girls are celebrated for them,' explained U.K. Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman in an editor's note.

Upton also starred in a campaign for Sam Edelman shoes.

Even Victoria's Secret came around, using images of Upton in a recent catalogue.

Kate Upton models on the back cover of the new Victoria's Secret catalogue.

She also replaced Gisele as the spokesmodel for high-end jewelry line David Yurman.

Her Vogue covers and high-end endorsement deals have legitimized her as more than a swimsuit model.

You've seen Kate Upton's rise as a model...

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