Kate Upton Models for Victoria's Secret After Rocky Past With Company. Everyone Wins.

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Only a year after a stylist who works with Victoria's Secret on its annual fashion show deemed supermodel Kate Upton's look "too obvious" for her to walk the runway, Upton appears in the latest Victoria's Secret catalog, according to a recent Buzzfeed story.

More on Yahoo! Shine:
Kate Upton on the Cover of Vogue: Why It Matters

Although it's the second time Upton has modeled for the catalog (her first shoot was in 2011), stylist Sophia Neophitou, a fashion industry veteran worked who has helped cast past Victoria's Secret fashion shows, told The New York Times in February 2012 that Upton's crossover potential from lad mag model to fashion icon was dubious. She said, "We would never use" Upton for a Victoria's Secret show. "She's like a Page 3 girl," said Neophitou, in reference to the  curvy women often featured in The Sun, a British tabloid. “She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.”

More on Yahoo!Is Kate Upton the Hottest Supermodel on Earth?

Soon after, Upton responded to Neophitou's comments by telling "Access Hollywood" in an interview, "I’m doing fine in my career, I don't need to walk down their runway so it's all good. She can think that and I can think whatever I want about her."

However, judging by the latest Victoria's Secret catalog, which, The Cut notes may contain a recycled image from Upton's 2011 shoot (See below update) of the model wearing a black Body by Victoria bra, it appears the 20-year-old and the lingerie company have called a truce—and the Internet is buzzing about it. "Victoria's Secret had a change of heart" tweeted The Cut. "Kate Upton models for Victoria's Secret—one year after the VS fashion show casting director majorly bashed her," wrote Fashionista. And Vogue UK tweeted, "Nice to see that Kate Upton doesn't hold a grudge" and "Victoria's Secret succumbs to the Kate Effect."

Not long ago, Kate Upton was best known as a sex symbol, rather than a fashion force to be reckoned with. She first came to fame in a viral video, dancing to Cali Swag District's song "Teach Me How to Dougie" at a Los Angeles Clippers game in 2011. Her YouTube influence was solidified a year later with another video shot by photographer Terry Richardson. Despite Richardson's fashion credibility, the video was largely remembered for Upton's skimpy bikini and dance move called the "Cat Daddy." YouTube banned the video because it violated the website's policy on nudity and sexual content but it had by then, it had amassed close to 750,000 views in the first 24 hours. Cut to Upton appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated's famous swimsuit issue in February of that year— an honor typically reserved for more well-known beauties such as Heidi Klum and Elle Macpherson—a GQ cover on which she sucked seductively on a popsicle, and a second Sport's Illustrated cover this past February wearing only an unzipped parka that revealed her cleavage. Judging by Upton's resume, it seemed unlikely that she could crossover into high fashion.

But Upton's trajectory has been anything but predictable. Her career has coincided with a magazine industry in flux, and a backlash against stick thin cover girls—both may have been factors in her emergence on the women's fashion scene.

Upton's debut on the cover of Vogue Italia in November 2012, British Vogue in January, and a U.S. Vogue cover in May, have all solidified her role as high fashion's new heroine.

"Kate Upton's look is a return to the 90's supermodel when curvier models such as Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, and Heidi Klum ruled the runway," Fashionista's editorial director, Leah Chernikoff, tells Yahoo! Shine. "You'll see some models successfully straddle the line between Victoria's Secret and high fashion— Karlie Kloss and Chanel Iman are two examples—but it's rare."

Upton deserves a heaping of the credit. Her Twitter account boasts almost 1 million followers and sparked a nationwide debate about weight and positive body image after a blogger made absurd comments about the supermodel being overweight.

That was in 2012, the same year Neophitou balked at the idea of Upton walking the Victoria's Secret runway. But in 2013, it doesn't seem that unlikely after all. 

A rep for Victoria's Secret declined to comment, but fashion insiders are already speculating Upton's catalog appearance could lead to a full-fledged deal as a VS Angel.
 
"Kate Upton seems like a great fit for Victoria's Secret because not only is the company is known for exhibiting a curvier body type, they're a fun, sexy brand that encourages their models to have tons of personality," says Chernikoff. "You'll see the models walk the runway, flirting with the audience and the camera, blowing kisses, and smiling, a rare move in the fashion world. In fact, Upton has potential to be a successful Angel."

UPDATE: A rep from Victoria's Secret confirmed the photo is from 2011.

More on Yahoo! Shine:
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Sparks Controversy. Offensive or Overreaction?
Is Kate Upton's New Mercedes Ad Too Tacky-Sexy?
Kate Upton Defends Her Curves