Model Kate Upton explains how she got started in the industry


It was already a big year for Kate upton. The 18-year-old Floridian landed a coveted job as the face of Guess, before booking the Holy Grail concert: a Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit has spread as “Rookie of the Year”. A month after the magazine came out, an extract emerged from Upton during a basketball game, a portrayal of American beauty in an interpretation of the “dougie”. In the wake of the viral video, The New York Times executed a feature: ‘Model Struts Path to Stardom Not on Runway, but on YouTube.’

It is for this reason that Kate Upton is often cited among the first fashion social media. Discovered during an open casting in Miami at the age of 15, she was never forced to vlog or Vine her way to household status, but her traditional industry trajectory was just one simple light up until Upton’s online call lights up the game. What followed was unprecedented: back to back Sillustrated ports, Vogue, and Vanity Show covers, a host of “sexiest women” accolades and a to kiss by the Hollywood elite.

Of course, an inexplicable increase rarely commands respect. The industry’s declining stars have attempted to capitalize on his sex appeal (especially memorable: disgraced photographer Terry Richardson refusing to allow Upton to introduce herself before she dances for her slow-motion film crew), while others were lyrical about her appearance. His body type caused the most fuss, mainly his daring to demand a size other than zero. The teenage model’s survival depended on seeing oneself beyond blog posts, and a decade later, Kate Upton is ready to tell the story.

I want to start at the beginning, how did you initially envision your “dream” career?

“I haven’t been back to the beginning in a while! I lived in Melbourne, Florida, and started modeling in Miami when I was 15. I made an open call and the agency went wanted to sign me up, then I was worked a lot, traveled a lot and had very regular clients. In the beginning there was no social media nor anyone to have an opinion on who a client had hired. saw me as not being the “normal” kind of mannequin.

“Usually my dream was to work with iconic American brands that I grew up with: Illustrated sports, Victoria’s Secret, guess. My parents made it clear to me that I couldn’t just float and travel, I had to make a career out of it, so I had a very clear path. I had very good clients and I was constantly working. Then when Illustrated sports put me on the map, the news articles were about my body, which at a young age was really quite shocking. I was only 18 at the time. It was a particularly low moment and I thought to myself, Why am I doing this? Then I opened fan letters that my agency had sent me. I still have chills to talk about it. All of these women were thanking me and telling me about body image issues and eating disorders and how thrilled they were to see someone they could relate to in a magazine. ”

This must have given the impression of taking on a lot of responsibility:

“I felt like I could really understand. Going through such mental difficulties on my own with all the criticism that was directed at me, and I felt like I could help others. that other people were going through; I wanted to help women get through this. I talk about it all the time with my friends and family, but I felt really alone going through it. Now with social media, everyone is creating this marks for itself and opens up and I feel I can relate to all these young women who go through it: the pressures, the criticisms. ”

Has your equestrian training prepared you for the cruelty of the industry?

“It gave me some tunnel vision when it came to my goals. It helped me in the sense of ignoring the little comments in the face, but when I saw reviews in articles or blogs, generally online it was more difficult. Critics are the loudest voices, always, although they are usually not the majority. “

Kate upton

When did this chatter start? Was it at the back of Illustrated sports?

“Yes, and at the time, Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit was the only magazine that put the model’s name next to their photo on the cover. This gave a model the opportunity to market themselves before social media. I did Guess and Victoria’s Secret at the same time, but since my name wasn’t there, no one really knew I had done that. Illustrated sports putting my name on the cover helped people understand who I was. ”

How did the dance of the Clippers game play out in the timeline?

“I did a Illustrated sports then about a month later the Clippers game dance went viral, then the next year I was on the cover of IF. ”

What conclusions did this increase have?

“It was a really confusing time. I didn’t know who I was, so the review really touched me. I didn’t appreciate it the way I imagined. I learned to communicate. how I was feeling. Then the other side was people wanted me to be that person all the time, people were like, “Dance Kate, dance, make this go viral!” And I had the. I felt like I had a lot more to bring in. Then when I started to feel better and have a little hold on my sanity, it helped me figure out what I was doing.

Kate upton

What did you learn about the industry from this?

“How it worked. When I first started modeling, doing an editorial was telling these great stories. It was like, Who do you want to be today? It was creating art. But honestly, what really changed my direction was sharing these fan letters with Anna Wintour. It didn’t take long to be convincing, she already got it and wanted to share this message on a whole new level. “

It’s really weird that you, someone whose body type was still so small, elicited this kind of response from other women:

“It makes me so happy when people say ‘this is so weird’ because it shows how far we’ve come. Plus how powerful this industry is because it can make these changes and affect the image. of people’s self to this extent. This is such an important responsibility of the fashion industry. “

When you were signed, did you discuss the trail at all?

“To be completely honest I didn’t have any interest. As a young girl the show didn’t look very fun or look very creative to the model. I just wasn’t attracted to it. which is so interesting because when people saw me in magazines and I bought it it was because they could relate to it, and the same thing happened to me when I was a girl on the other end of the phone. nothing to do with that, I didn’t want to be a part of it. “

Kate upton

Other than the inclusion of size, what are the most visceral changes you’ve seen in the industry?

“The way they approach social media. At first, because I had a follow on social media, I used to go out on sets and sign crazy NDAs that I wouldn’t post or take. of behind-the-scenes photos. And now brands desperately want you to be active, like, “Please post.” I remember starting my agency’s Instagram, like “You need to be social media. really thought I was difficult because I had opinions on what to do. It was really difficult but now there is so much freedom, and I am so happy that I opened this path. But at the same time time, you really need a strong sense of self-worth and confidence to understand the criticism is not real. ”

When did it change for you?

“Well that was such a big part of our culture – you were zero or you were fat. Now we have a whole new standard of beauty and we know everyone does photoshop but we can’t do it all. to actually process it, then we think, ‘Guess I’m ugly because I didn’t have any filler.’ ”

How did you go to the cinema?

“I had been acting for a long time and thought modeling would help this move to the movies, but it sure isn’t. There isn’t a lot of artistic respect for modeling. I felt like I had to. start over, which I have I didn’t mind, and I was glad I had done the hard work before. I had to prove myself, and I think any woman in any industry probably feels obligated to prove her worth. ”

Of course, we always earn our place at the table:

“Sure, but the power is really with the audience. Even with fashion, if you like what you see, click on this item, buy this magazine, go see this movie. If you can relate, go support it. C is when you start to see more. ”

Photos: Getty

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