Photographed by Kenneth Cappello
Styling by Alejandra Hernandez
Hair by Luke Chamberlain
Makeup by Tsipporah Liebman
Tech Curtis Buchanan & Andi Elloway
Interview by Nic Fensom
From SNEEZE NO.12 summer 2011
It’s smiles for miles and then some with Kate Upton. You’d assume she was from California, but the Michigan-born model resides in New York City, working the bicoastal lifestyle for agency giant IMG. Camera ready, Kate’s on fire. Off set, she’s sparkle stickers. The Rookie of the Year keeps up her equestrianism, sits front row at Yankee Stadium during the Jets and Knicks offseason, and stays tight with friends and family who are always in tow.
The continental USA is Kate’s oyster, but her worldwide fan base grows each day. Look up in the sky and her face on Guess billboards beams. Lose yourself online in her Twitpics. Check out the newsstand and there she is in body paint. Film castings are surely on the way. Still hard to fathom Kate was born in 1992 — that was a very good year indeed.
Models come and models go, but this 19-year-old exhibits rare staying power. Unlike most models lately, Kate doesn’t try to be epic, she just is. A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what is?
Dating Kate Upton.
What’s the best thing about living in New York?
MS. UPTON: I love New York because there’s always something to do. It’s so convenient to walk everywhere and I love going to New York sporting events.
If you had to choose a New York sports team to go see which would it be?
MS. UPTON: I don’t really know what team it would be because I really like all the teams. Since my sister works for the New York Jets I think she’d want me to answer the New York Jets.
Do you have a favorite spot to eat?
MS. UPTON: I love sushi and my favorite restaurant is Nobu.
If someone wanted to have the Kate Upton Nobu experience what would it be?
MS. UPTON: Yellowtail jalapeño, miso fluke sashimi, and rock shrimp.
Do you Google yourself?
MS. UPTON: I don’t really Google myself, not because I’m scared of what people will say, I just don’t really. Unless it’s sent to me on Twitter, I probably won’t see it.
You have quite the Twitter following.
MS. UPTON: I love Twitter. At first I was a little bit against it, but it’s really cool to tell your fans what you’re up to and it’s also fun to read the responses you get.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve read about yourself online?
MS. UPTON: Oh my gosh, the funniest thing I’ve read about myself… I read somewhere that said they thought I was too happy (laughs). I’m like, “Oh okay, I’ll try to tone it done for you a little bit.”
Can’t please everyone.
MS. UPTON: Exactly.
Your birthday is coming up.
MS. UPTON: Yes, it’s Friday.
MS. UPTON: Thank you.
MS. UPTON: I actually think I’m going to be going to LA to celebrate it.
You were shot in LA for this. How often are you in LA?
MS. UPTON: I’m in LA often because I shoot a lot out there. I have friends there now. I’m probably there like twice a month.
Can you explain the working relationship a model has with their agent?
MS. UPTON: I can’t speak for all models or agents, but you talk to them a couple times a day. It’s a business relationship. Hopefully, you’re both going for the same goal and on the same page.
What’s your goal campaign?
MS. UPTON: Guess was always my dream campaign, but now that I have that I guess my next goal is a beauty campaign. I’d also like to make the switch into movies. I’m letting my career ride itself out and see where it takes me. I try not to plan it out too much.
Guess is so consistent with its campaigns, year after year, especially in the models they choose. How does it feel to be in such great company?
MS. UPTON: It’s a huge honor. The Guess campaigns are one of the reasons why I wanted to get into modeling. They’re so beautiful, strong and so sexy, but not overly sexy or slutty. It’s that in-between that’s hard to capture, and they always do.
Who was your favorite model growing up?
MS. UPTON: My favorite was, and still is, Adriana Lima. She’s just so beautiful and I love all the campaigns that she comes out with.
Did she do Guess?
MS. UPTON: Yes, she did a while ago, one of her first jobs.
You love horses.
MS. UPTON: Yes!
When was the last time you went riding?
MS. UPTON: A few weeks ago. I went home for the weekend and rode my horse Colby.
MS. UPTON: St. Joseph Michigan.
Does your family have a ranch?
MS. UPTON: No, we board him.
What about riding in New York?
MS. UPTON: I’ve never ridden in New York. When I ride it’s more about the experience. When I ride, I want to see my horse. I have a strong connection with my horse. That’s what’s special about it for me. It’s not so much just going out and riding.
How long have you had Colby?
MS. UPTON: For six years.
What about horse movies like The Horse Whisperer with Scarlett Johansson?
MS. UPTON: I love The Horse Whisperer and I love Spirit (laughs). I love Hidalgo and Sea Biscuit and Secretariat. I watch those movies over and over again.
Do you have any special summer vacation plans?
MS. UPTON: Yes! It’s my grandparents 60th anniversary coming up. We’re doing a family trip for that and my dad is turning fifty years old, too so it’s a big family moment.
Are the Uptons a tight knit family?
MS. UPTON: We’re very close. I have two older sisters and a younger brother and talk to them multiple times in a week.
What was your parents’ reaction to you getting painted for 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition?
MS. UPTON: They always knew to be in Sports Illustrated, was a dream of mine. I always was in love with the body paint. They were very excited I was able to accomplish that.
Would you date a skater?
MS. UPTON: I’ve never met a skater before, so I don’t have any judgements against them. It’s not about what they do. It’s about who they are, and if they’re nice people and if we get along, so, of course, if we got along I’d date a skater ♠