New Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton has been called a "page 3" girl by Victoria's Secret, who has said that the model will never appear on one of their runways.
The remark has revealed the divergence of fashion from traditional venues like runway modeling to the new power social celebrities.
Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, the cast director for the Victoria's Secret Fashion show, has stated that rising model Kate Upton will never walk the runway for Victoria's Secret. Though Neophitou-Apostolou admitted that Victoria's Secret had previously employed Upton for catalogue work, she also implied that Upton wasn't front-page material.
"She's like a page 3 girl," Ms. Neophitou told The New York Times by telephone from London.
The director also called Upton's look "too obvious" and easily purchased. "She's like a footballer's wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy."
However, Neophitou-Apostolou isn't be the first person to underestimate Upton's "fashion" look. "When Kate first came in, everyone at the agency thought I was crazy," Ivan Bart of IMG Models told The Times about the first time he introduced Upton.
"She wasn't 'fashion' enough," said Bart.
But that didn't stop him from signing Upton, whose claim to fame started with a YouTube video of her doing "the Dougie," a popular hip-hop dance. "Kate is bigger than fashion," Bart said. "She's the Jayne Mansfield of the Internet."
Fans readily agreed. "All the snobbery aside, I say congratulations to Miss Upton on her success, making waves and annoying some pretentious people in the fashion industry. She's clearly a game changer whether you like it or not," dannomusic43 stated on the Times' blog.
Others suggested that models with that "fashion look" are often not really that appealing to the masses. "Nice to see a model who looks alive and of this world. What passes for beauty in fashion models is scary and sick," Dave wrote.
Upton is also aware of the secret behind her success. "What can I say?" she told The Times. "I'm relatable."
"People told me I couldn't be fashion, that I'm just an old-fashioned body girl, only good for swimwear," Upton said. "But I knew that I could bring back the supermodel."
Upton has joined the likes of other stars like Justin Bieber, who have reached world wide fame after posting simple videos on YouTube and developing massive followings.
"For a long time, fashion has been going to celebrities," Upton said. "Celebrities are on the magazine covers, and nobody wanted models. But why not have a model celebrity? Why not a girl who comes with her own following? Social media brings a personality to models. That's how consumers today decide what to buy.