From YouTube dancing sensation to international cover model, Kate Upton’s rise in the fashion industry has been nothing short of meteoric. In one year, the 20-year-old went from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition’s Rookie of the Year to 2012 cover model, and finished the year as Google’s sixth most-searched person in the United States. But Upton’s success is about more than magazine covers, ad campaigns or endorsement deals—all of which she added to her resume this year. Her more curvaceous figure, social media prowess and self-described “relatable” (read: fun!) personality have established her as a new kind of supermodel—one, as some critics lamented, who wasn’t right for “high fashion” because of her busty shape and pin-up looks. But with two Vogue covers under her belt, Upton has already proven them wrong — and expect her to keep doing so in 2013.
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