Kate Upton lands the cover of Italian Vogue

People have hated on Kate Upton up and down since she first arrived as a Victoria’s Secret catalogue girl (hell, even Victoria’s Secret famously hated on her in a vicious, gross and weirdly classist New York Times profile), but the girl’s managed to stick a little longer than anyone predicted.

First it was the controversial Sports Illustrated cover, then it was the unexpected (and lovely) Muse cover, then it was surprise editorials in glossies like Harper’s Bazaar, Jalouse and finally even Vogue. When she nabbed the cover of Carine Roitfeld‘s debut issue of CR Fashion Book (Roitfeld herself a hugely influential tastemaker in terms of model castings) we were kind of shocked.

…But nothing ever prepares you for the Italian Vogue cover:

Kate Upton lands the cover of Italian Vogue

The 20-year-old (maybe possibly becoming super?)model landed the Big One. Here she is on the cover of the November issue, wearing a Fendi coat, Patricia Field top, Kenneth Jay Lane costume jewlery, and moody red lips for a kind of grunge Veronica Lake look. In fact, the whole thing feels very ’90s. She was shot, of course, by the great Steven Meisel.

We’re still not sure of Upton’s staying power–her rise has been so swift and so strong that she’s beginning to risk overexposure. That said, we wouldn’t be so skeptical of a similarly meteoric rise in the career of a straight size girl, which is a useful reminder of exactly why we need a model like Upton.

Love her or hate her, she’s a force for positive change.

(Thumbnail via Wenn, cover via TFP)