As you may recall, Kate first started her career with SI Swimsuit back in 2011. Her impressive debut earned her our coveted Rookie of the Year honor. She went on to land the cover back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. At just 22-years-old, she was also named as a member of 22-person SI Swimsuit legends class, which included icons like Heidi Klum, Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks and Elle Macpherson, to name a few.
"We didn’t start off with the idea of three covers, regardless of who was on the cover," explained SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. "But when Kate was actually shooting, we were trying so many different looks on her and each photo was coming back just as great as the next.
"It's a full circle moment for us," MJ continued. "We started Kate in her career, and you know, we watched her grow and become not only this worldwide, superstar phenomenon; she changed the direction of the modeling industry. Kate Upton was really this trailblazer that led the way for the Ashley Grahams of the world and everything you're seeing happen that's different in fashion right now."
Since her last bikini-clad spread, Kate has starred in several motion pictures, most notably in The Other Woman alongside actresses Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. She is slated to appear in the upcoming movie The Layover, a comedy about two friends who go on an epic road trip together. But let's be honest—it's her return to the pages of our magazine that has us most excited!
"I was very excited when MJ asked me to be back in the issue," Kate said about her return. "Especially when this year's theme is about every woman of every age and every body type being accepted. It was inspiring to be asked to be a part of that issue.
"For me, it was MJ’s passion for having it be this theme and this issue and that’s why I wanted to be a part of this magazine again," Kate added. "Those are the campaigns I want to do and the career I want to have — to inspire women to love themselves. That’s a balance of working hard and eating healthy but also enjoying life and having cheat days and for the emphasis not to be on the ideal perfect body. It makes me proud to be asked back."
Can't get enough of Kate? Get up close and personal with her in Houston when SI Swimsuit hosts the first-ever VIBES festival. The highly anticipated event at Post HTX kicks off on Friday, Feb. 17, with a food festival featuring favorites from well-known national and regional chefs. The food festival will be followed by a VIP performance from R&B sensation Miguel. The fun continues on Saturday with a lineup of local Houston musicians and a headlining performance by Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ Diplo.
So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now and be sure to catch all of Kate's gorgeous photos from SI Swimsuit 2017 tomorrow morning!