Kate Upton won a major Sam Edelman shoe contract ‘because she isn’t stick thin’

Kate Upton

If you haven’t gathered, I’m a pretty big fan of Kate Upton. I mean, I don’t have her Sports Illustrated photos plastered all over my locker or anything, but I think she’s a really fresh face and body in a model market that’s littered with eating disorders. Do I think she might actually pull off her claim of bringing back the supermodel? We shall see. At the moment, Kate is pretty close to being a household name, which is the basic qualification for a supermodel. So far, she’s not very convincing at pulling off high fashion shoots, but she’s successfully graced the covers of Vogue UK as well as Vogue
Italia and appeared within a US Vogue spread too. Basically, Kate Upton is here to stay for awhile.

So here are some photos of Kate’s latest ad campaign, which is for Sam Edelman shoes. The shots themselves are lovely but not terribly remarkable except for a slight old Hollywood vibe and the clever way that the company is showing off Kate’s curves in a tasteful manner while still highlighting their merchandise. Here’s the official statement from Sam Edelman via Women’s Wear Daily:

Kate Upton

Sam Edelman is marching into 2013 with Kate Upton by its side.

The New York-based footwear brand has tapped the model for its new digital and print advertising campaign that will roll out starting Monday and run for six months.

Shot in an undisclosed location in New York City by ad impresario David Lipman, the campaign pays tribute to Edelman’s urban heritage and is part of a larger strategy for the brand as it strives to grow into a lifestyle player.

“It felt like the right time,” said Sam Edelman, designer and division president of his brand. “We had a major ad campaign with Charlotte Kemp Muhl 18 months ago. It carried us for a long time. [By choosing Kate,] it was a hell of a decision to go with an indie girl.”

Lipman echoed that sentiment. “We chose Kate because she isn’t stick thin. She’s beautiful and all-American,” he said.

The 5-foot, 10-inch Upton, who is, for the record, merely considered “curvy” for a model, was spotted wearing a pair of Edelman equestrian-style boots. That’s when the potential partnership clicked, and Lipman and Edelman called her in.

“I’ve loved Sam Edelman shoes for a long time, so shooting the ad campaign was a lot of fun for me,” said Upton, who soon realized that she shared a passion for horses with the designer.

Shot in black and white, both the stills and the video nod to the enigmatic feeling of Old Hollywood films. For instance, one photo shows a sultry yet innocent-looking Upton sitting amid a pile of Sam Edelman flats while averting the camera’s gaze.

“I wanted to capture the spirit of youth and vitality,” Lipman said. “I wanted to portray Sam’s lifestyle and a young girl’s lifestyle and merge the two.”

The brand’s footwear ranges from $60 to $150, and new categories will stay in a comparable price range.

[From WWD]

I think it’s rather interesting that the company has taken great pains in their news release to describe their reason for hiring Kate as wanting to hire a model who isn’t a stick insect. Between that and Ralph Lauren hiring its first plus-sized model last year, the tide might be changing ever so slowly in the fashion industry. What I like most about Kate is that she refuses to conform in the face of all criticism to those who says she’s just too cheap or not skinny enough to be a model. And now the industry is coming to her. Fascinating.

Kate Upton

Kate Upton

Photos courtesy of Sam Edelman

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58 Responses to “Kate Upton won a major Sam Edelman shoe contract ‘because she isn’t stick thin’”

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  1. Sarah says:

    Great, I would love to see a more realistic portrayal of women in the media. My youngest daughter is tall and has a larger frame, she won’t ever be skinny. She already has a complex at 12 although she isn’t overweight, she goes to school with a lot of waif-y girls.

    • Eleonor says:

      I feel for your daughter, really, I am shaped à la Kim Kardashian (minus fake ass and fake boobs), hourglass figure you know? And even if I am in shape I still have my bottom and hips, and in fashion is a crime. Now I don’t give a crap anymore, but when I was younger…well it wasn’t that easy.

    • Calimero says:

      sure but the problem also exist for skinny, I’m very thin, no boobs, not a big ass but not anorexic, I can’t find clothes for me because of that and I am very angry when I read on numerous sites that the thin women are not women and are all mentally ill because they are necessarily anorexic. The thing is to accept our shape and being healthy and it comes with time (even if we always want to kill certain sellers who do not believe in you when you say your size and then leave by shrugging and by treating you of bag of bones.

      • Eleonor says:

        I think these accusations “I am more women than you” show other people’s insecurities, the truth is: women are not all the same, we don’t have balloon boobs like Pam Anderson, we have all different sizes and shapes.
        Fashion industry shows and promotes only skeleton girls, and now with photoshop things are even worst. I bet today some of the supermodels of the ’90s would be considered “fat”.

      • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

        I’ve been all sizes. That one would piss me off most. “You’re so skiiiiny! EAt something! Just bones!” etc. That shit doesn’t feel any better than “Youre so chuuuuubby! Put the fork down! You have rolls!” would.
        People are lots of sizes for lots of reasons. Maybe because they didn’t pick it, maybe because it’s their choice. But ALWAYS it’s their fucking business. And all women are womanly.

      • loveisthecoal says:

        This. I myself am also more Kardashian-shaped, but my best friend is naturally verrrrrrry thin–perfectly healthy, eats fine; it’s just her shape. I can never get over how many perfect STRANGERS make comments to her about her weight. It’s rude! “Real women” are curvy, skinny, tall, short, chubby, athletic, and everything in between!

    • megs283 says:

      @Sarah – I feel for your daughter. I was 5’10″ at age 12 (and 5’11″ now). True to form, I felt so awkward and FAT compared to the skinny, skinny girls who were my age and who hit the preferred style demographic for the tween-teen set. My aunts raved over my legs, and friends complemented my flat stomach, but I still felt so awkward and just plain overweight. If only I knew then what I know now. I wish I could give your daughter a big hug.

      Of course, that great body of mine was 30 pounds (and 15 years) ago. Sigh…

  2. lucy2 says:

    I think it’s good see to some variety in the modeling world.

  3. Mew says:

    The photos are quite nicely taken just so that her waist area is all black and only one side of her waist is showing, thus trying to make her look slimmer or at least “blur” out her outlines. Very good photography though, beautiful pictures. Well done Kate!

  4. Cherry says:

    It’s very PC for a company to say that they’ve hired a model because ‘she isn’t stick thin’ but let’s not kid ourselves. Edelman is not planning to change the world and make all women feel better about themselves. They hired Kate because she’s exceptionally beautiful and has a commercial face. She may not be as thin as some other models, but she has a body that most of us can only dream of having.

  5. yellowlala says:

    She is so not curvy….she just has big boobs. Hollywood has no conception of what a normal curvy girl looks like

  6. ????? says:

    Even though I`m happy to see a not `stick skinny` model around Kate Upton is cheap and trashy looking. I would be happier to see someone with her figure but with more class and elegance.

  7. Faye says:

    Kate Upton will always be more commercial versus high-fashion — I don’t see her reaching the level of a Karlie Kloss, Arizona Muse, or Joan Smalls. That being said, it’s nice to see a little diversity, size-wise, in the modelling industry, and I hope she continues to get jobs. I think she’d be very good at selling mid-price brands because the “average” person would find her pretty, but relatable.

  8. Lolly says:

    This girl is gorgeous!! I’ve always been a fan & i’m just glad she keeps getting jobs. Keep it up Kate!

  9. bea says:

    I can relate to her body-type way more than some model who resembles a boy more than a girl, that is for sure.

    Everyone wants to hate on her, but I think she’s very cute. I do agree that “high fashion” isn’t really her thing, but modeling bikinis and shoes are perfect.

  10. Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

    I think she’s gorgeous. And she IS refreshing in that she brings back the Bardot look, which … it’s just a type.
    Everyone gets so offended by this chick, yeesh. But that third shot? My God. Vintage sex appeal.

  11. flor says:

    Her problem is that there already is another “Kate” and has been around for decades. If she becomes a supermodel, she will need another nickname.

  12. Jae says:

    Okay, I’m an ESL, so help me out: doesn’t ‘curvy’ mean ‘has a prominent waist, boobs and ass’? As in has actual defined ‘curves, general weight notwithstanding (although it’s very rare to have prominent boobs and ass when you’re really skinny).
    I mean, Kate Upton does have big boobs, but isn’t she just… kinda square, without waist (or ass for that matter, hers is kinda flat) otherwise?

    • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

      Curvy originally meany hourglass shaped. Nowadays, some people use it as a polite way of saying “chubby”, but that’s not the original implication of the word in popular culture before the dictionary wielders complain).

  13. stellalovejoydiver says:

    I like the campaign with Kate, but I am also kind of a fan of Charlotte Kemp Muhl, she is exceptionally beautiful, but dumb as a rock, her personality is pseudointellectual hipster grating.
    Kemp Muhl was pretty much (tastefully) naked in most of these ads, so this campaign is pretty tame in comparison.

    Also yeah go Kate, I don´t think she is all that when it comes to modelling, but I am rooting for her.

  14. menlisa says:

    Go Kate!!
    I absolutely love her.
    Funny how models and the like were absolutely bitchy towards her when she first started & now she is getting jobs some of them can’t score.
    Cover of Vogue UK & Italy.
    Major contracts.
    Victoria Secret what?
    Team Underdog.

  15. Susi says:

    Oh my goodness, this is refreshing. I wish there were more models like her! The other “curvy” model at that top level is Lara Stone and Lara is actually tiny and skinny all over, she just has huge boobs. Kate is curvy in other places too.

    I have to say, some of these girls just make me feel ill when I look at them, especially as cameras always make you look bigger. I used to love Abbey Lee Kershaw but now every time I look at her I feel like I am looking at a seriously ill person who may well be dying. A few friends have seen her in the flesh recently and were utterly shocked at how sick and unhealthy she looked. And Abbey is ranked as #4 top model in the world! Just look at her face; she used to have cute round cheeks – similar to Miranda Kerr, and now she has sunken cheek bones and black rings under her eyes. I saw her in a shoot recently and her entire clavicle was hanging out, it was disgusting. Similarly there have been Armani (I think?) ads recently where the girl’s bony thigh leg made me feel ill. I couldn’t even see the clothes past the protruding bones.

    I like Kate and what she stands for. Bring back the models with curves and beautiful, toned bodies. Put some meat on those poor little stick insects!

  16. afrotastic says:

    She is a very pretty girl but she is not curvy. It takes more than boobs to be a curvy girl and has nothing to do with weight. Curvy to me means a woman with an hourglass figure which means a woman with wider hips, thighs and a bust compared to a narrow waist – just like me. Lol. As for being different/diverse, rubbish, she is just another cute blonde chick with boobs – not so different from Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansefield, Bridget Bardot the list goes on.

  17. Hoya_chick says:

    She is as cookie cutter as they get and just because someone has big breasts doesn’t mean they have ‘curves’. Models aren’t suppose to look average. Being skinny doesn’t make you attractive and the opposite is also true. I don’t get her appeal. Stop trying to make fetch happen!

  18. cs says:

    Kate Upton is NOT CURVY. I would know, I have her exact silhouette (plus more stomach fat :/)…she has a very poor waist-to-hip ratio, big boobs, wide waist, narrow hips, flat butt, long lean legs. IMO, it is SO amazingly nice to see an “apple” shaped girl (not a stick thin apple like jolie) do well in fashion/modeling. All I ever hear is, the GOLDEN RATIO is what men look for in a woman. Kate makes me feel like my shape can be adored, too. That’s why I <3 her.

  19. HotPockets says:

    I think what upsets the fashion industry and other models so much about Kate is that she isn’t a toothpick and she isn’t a plus size model. The modeling industry wants you to be a size 0 or a size 10( 10-12 for plus size). She doesn’t fit the archetype and yet, she is so successful and gained so much notoriety so quick, so I feel like they constantly have to justify her appeal. Kate represents a normal girl’s body, with a supermodel’s face.

    Whenever I see Kate, I always thinks of my friend who has been trying to make it as a model for years in NYC. She had a decent run, but I don’t think now, at the age of 26, that she will ever get to the same level as Kate Upton. She is toothpick thin and obsessed with weight. She always talks about how fat people are if they’re over a size 2, so it must drive her crazy with envy to see Kate’s career flourish.

  20. Sweet Dee says:

    Beautiful photo spread.

    I hate horses.

  21. Abby says:

    Beautiful shoot! I love Sam Edelman shoes. As a fellow horsewoman, I had no idea Edelman likes horses.

    Side note, I love that she always pumps the horse angle. In another lifetime (just a few years ago) she was a world champion equestrian. I worked for the breed association she was involved with and it’s been a pleasure seeing her skyrocket. Go Kate!

  22. Crystal says:

    She’s very pretty and her body is amazing. I’m happy for her. As long as they don’t use the phrase ‘real woman’ I have no problem with this.

  23. Happy21 says:

    I don’t think she’s got that ‘supermodel’ quality about her but she is definitely pretty. Her face is growing on me from more than just the girl next door. She does have some of that classic, vintage hollywood beauty. I’m glad to see she has a major contract. I like Sam Edelman shoes and am happy for her :)

  24. Christina says:

    Right. So they boast of not hiring a model who isn’t ‘stick thin’ and yet hire a stereotypical vacant-eyed-blonde-with-big-tits lads mag type instead?

    Forgive me if I don’t see anything to celebrate here.

  25. Reece says:

    Good for her that she’s getting contracts and clearly getting to work with better photographers. The photo shoots are so much better than her earlier ones.
    As for the “curvy” I pretty much agree with the big boobs does not = curvy. But that’s media for you.

  26. K-rock says:

    These photos are the nicest ones I’ve seen from her. I would want those shoes! hehe

  27. Sarah says:

    Kate isn’t neccessarily my favorite either but those images subconsciously stick over the years, that ideal of beauty gleaned from what we see put forth as such.
    Having two daughters with different insecurities makes me very aware of theirs and my own. I’m very careful to tell them not to compare ourselves but to be the best version of ourselves.

  28. KellyinSeattle says:

    I’m kind of actresses/models saying, “I’m not stick thin”, when they’re still pretty thin.

  29. meh says:

    Okay..seriously..she makes the exact same face in EVERY PHOTO. For crying out loud, woman.

  30. Caroline says:

    She really should do more crunches: to have that much flab and only 20yrs old, it only gets worse from here. Other than that, I love her!
    Way better than Barbara Palvin~.~

  31. andrea says:

    They hired because she’s not a stick insect, but then they photographed her strategically and photoshopped her to look at least 3 sizes smaller than she really is. Her body and reflection in the photo with the mirror don’t even match (where did her hips go?). Just sayin’.

  32. kiki says:

    Ohhh please. whats the difference? 10 pounds?? shes still stick thin. shes not curvy at all.

  33. manta says:

    “I wanted to capture the spirit of youth and vitality,” Lipman said.