Recognized as one of the world’s current crop of supermodels, Kate Upton has taken her curvaceous figure and All-American looks to the top of the industry, expanding her celebrity into the world of films as well. Since becoming a household name only a few years ago with her cover for Sports Illustrated, she has taken the globe by storm and is just getting started.
Born in St. Joseph Michigan, Kate Upton eventually moved with her family to Melbourne, Florida in 1999. Raised by her mother Shelley Upton and Jeff Upton, both athletes, Kate took after her parents and began competing in sports at a young age, competing at the national level as a young equestrian at the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). Riding her horse Roanie Pony, Upton won three APHA Reserve World Championships by the age of 14, and placed third overall in the APHA Top Twenty youth. With her horse Zipped, Upton won the 14-18 Western Riding and placed in the top 5 in 14-18 Horsemanship and 14-18 Western Pleasure in 2009. Around this time, she was discovered as a model and her destiny transformed from accomplished athlete to the catwalk.
After attending a casting call in Miami in 2008, Upton was signed to Elite Model Management, and immediately began working her way up in the fashion industry. From there, she moved to New York City, where she was signed to IMG Models. One of her first major assignments was for label Dooney & Bourke and she was named the official face of Guess? in 2010-2011. Known for her heavy following on social media, Upton appeared in an internet video that later went viral of her doing the dougie dance at a Los Angeles Clippers game.
Later that year, she made waves by being named as Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year. By the next year, Upton had claimed the cover and became an industry sensation. After appearing on the cover, she continued to rack up credits with assignments for Beach Bunny Swimwear, Complex, an episode of Tosh, and in Esquire as ‘The Woman of the Summer’. The world’s most respected fashion publications clamored to book Upton, with the model featured in several international magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, the American, British, Italian, German, Spanish and German edition of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and more. She has also been featured in the ad campaigns of several prominent labels including Betsey Johnson, Guess?, Express, Bare Necessities, Sam Edelman, David Yurman, and Victoria’s Secret. For her efforts, she was ranked fifth by Models.com as the industry’s sexiest model and third on AskMen.com’s Top 99 Women for 2013.
A viral video for The Rej3ctz featuring Upton performing the Cat Daddy further elevated her name in the industry. Her acting debut as Mr. Hightower’s mistress in Tower Heist debuted in 2011 and she also had a brief role as a nun in the comedy The Three Stooges.
In 2013, she was photographed by the legendary Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary cover, and later that year was named ‘Model of the Year’ at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Upton appeared on Sports Illustrated flip-side cover for the 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, marking a first for the magazine. She was also named as the face of cosmetics giant Bobbi Brown during this time.
Kate Upton continued her foray into Hollywood with a part alongside Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann in the comedy The Other Woman, playing the mistress of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s character. Later that year, she also appeared with Tony Hale for the music video by Lady Antebellum, ‘Bartender’. She was also named ‘Sexiest Woman’ by People magazine, the first time a woman had been awarded the title. Upton was then named as a participant for Game of War: Fire Age in their ad campaign for Machine Zone’s mobile app. Other roles lined up include The Layover with Alexandra Daddario, and James Franco’s The Masterpiece.
Upton’s All-American looks and upbringing are a major part of her appeal worldwide and the model later admitted in the press that she has a cross tattooed on the inside of one of her fingers as a testament to her faith. Naturally vivacious and energetic, she is noted for having a more curvaceous figure than most supermodels, a fact that has not been met with detractors. Undeterred, Upton can lay claim to being one of the first ‘real women’ to rule a catwalk in the recent era.
In the fall of 2014, Upton – along with several other high profile celebrities, was involved in a massive sting operation when several nude photographs of hers were stolen and leaked on the internet.
Upton has had several high-profile relationships with other celebrities including Mark Sanchez, a football star for the New York Jets, whom she dated in 2011. After their breakup, she dated Dancing With the Stars performer Maksim Chmerkovskiy in 2013 for six months. Later, she became engaged to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, with a breakup announced in January 2015.
- Kate Upton Unauthorized & Uncensored by Ed Cohen
- Kate Upton Grandiose Model by Ed Cohen
Written by: Triston Brewer