Photos Courtesy of VogueGarnering attention the world over for her girl-next-door looks, feminine curves, and life-embracing personality, Kate Upton is on the rise in the world of high fashion. In an industry dominated by skeletal models, the 21-year-old starlet’s curvaceous frame is once again sparking a heated debate of body image among fashion’s elite. Vogue’s June cover shoot brought her voluptuous figure to the center of media attention; this time prompting Vogue’s Editor-in Chief Anna Wintour to speak up, “If the high-fashion world seems incapable of figuring out what to do with her…then that’s its loss.” The industry has long been in a battle over women’s sizes, from the days of heroin chic to the fame of plus size supermodels like Mia Tyler.
In a recent video interview in their fashion news segment, the Wall Street Journal’s Simon Constable interviews Vogue’s style columnist Christina Binkley, posing the question, does “plus size equal big profits” for the fashion industry? Binkley explains that “sizes 14-16 are the average size in the US” and supermodels like Kate Upton are making headway, even creating a turning point for high end designers to break into the world of “plus sizes.” Designer pieces in their size are something “young fashion lovers have been demanding at an almost revolutionary pace,“ and it doesn't hurt that Kate Upton is embracing her body and encouraging young women to do the same. “I feel confident with myself,” she says in her June Vogue interview, “and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great.”
Women’s sizes have become more of a controversy in the past decade; commercials, shows, and even print ads tell women to love their figure, but even with celebrities opening up about eating disorders and the importance of having a healthy body, designers continue to send gaunt models down the runway. If the era of the rail-thin fashion model is truly at an end, we can look forward to an increase of sizes from current fashion houses as well as up and coming designers. But for now we’ll just have to settle for the cover gracing curves of Kate Upton.