Kate Upton's "Vogue" Cover Not Really A Big Deal, Statistically
She's just the latest in a long line of cover models to have dipped their toes in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Lots of people have gotten very (over)excited about Kate Upton's new Vogue cover.
First off, Kate's already covered both Italian and British Vogue.
And, statistically, even in the context of U.S. Vogue alone her cover is not that big a deal.
Not a deal as big as her breasts, if you will. Because this wouldn't be an article about Kate Upton without irrelevant references to her figure now, would it?
During Anna Wintour's reign as Vogue's editor-in-chief, 58* models have booked the magazine's cover. And 21 of those models also posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, like Kate.
*that number doesn't include models featured on the folded part of fold-out covers; many of Anna's favorite models have landed Vogue's cover also multiple times. (Also worth remembering, this doesn't include the gamut of celebrities who've also fronted the magazine.)
Let's have a pie chart.
A majority of those models went "downhill," though — thirteen of those with both photos in magazines to their name switched their couture for a two-piece.
This group posed for the Swimsuit Issue only after shooting their Vogue covers. (They include some of the Swimsuit Issue's bigger names, though: Niki Taylor, Angela Lindvall and Talisa Soto, for example.)
Following her last Vogue cover in 2000, Bridget Hall booked the Swimsuit Issue five years in a row.
Carolyn Murphy landed seven Vogue covers in the late '90s. In 2004, she also booked the Swimsuit Issue cover.
May 2007's Vogue cover pronounced Hilary Rhoda one of the "world's next top models." That title took her to three years' worth of Swimsuit Issue features.
Even Michaela Bercu, the first model to cover Wintour's Vogue, later posed for the Swimsuit Issue.
That leaves an elite group of eight models who traversed the slippery slope from features in Sports Illustrated up to fronting Vogue's.
You know, what with it being a high fashion magazine and all.
Sports Illustrated snapped Stephanie Seymour in her swimmies in the '80s; by the '90s she was covering Vogue with the iconic "one name only" supermodels.
Cindy Crawford also featured in the 1988 Swimsuit Issue — prior to any of her eleven Vogue covers.
And Naomi Campbell shot numerous Vogue covers following her 1992 Swimsuit Issue debut. Because she's Naomi Campbell.
But there's more still: three models booked the much-heralded cover of SI's Swimsuit Issue before their Vogue covers.
That's some upcycling.
Judit Mascó covered Vogue in 1991, the year after her Swimsuit Issue cover.
And current cover girl Kate Upton booked two consecutive SI covers before gracing Vogue.
The thing is, Paulina Porizkova beat her to it. She fronted the 1984 and '85 Swimsuit Issues before landing any of her Vogue covers.
Also, Anna booked her for a Vogue cover after she'd fronted an issue of Playboy.
So Kate's still got some work to do if she plans to be the best/biggest swimsuit model in Vogue's eyes, really.
(Not to mention the greater fashion industry.)
In the feature accompanying Kate's new cover, her IMG agent Ivan Bart quotes the model's "career goals."
Said Upton, "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." Perhaps, then, a fairer comparison would be to look at Vogue's celebrity cover stars — and see if she's the first "celebmodel" to have the Swimsuit Issue to her name.
Oh wait, Beyoncé already did that. Because she's Beyoncé.
Kate's cover is nice. Really pretty. She looks great, and yes, there's a "real" figure (read: again, those breasts everyone talks so much about) semi-visible. But it's far from the groundbreaking moment folks want to make it.
Keep on truckin' anyway, though, Kate.