Feb. 15 (UPI) — Kate Upton is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue for the third time in her career.
Unveiled on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday, the issue hits newsstands with three official covers featuring Upton in a trio of revealing beachwear.
“Is that really a swimsuit that you’er wearing because it seems just like a hammock that got torn to bits,” Kimmel joked about one of her swimsuit’s on display.
“I think it’s just a rope,” the model responded laughing.
Upton started her career modeling for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition in 2011 when the magazine named her Rookie of the Year. She has landed a spread in the swimsuit issue five times and appeared on the cover in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013.
“It’s a full circle moment for us,” Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day said in a statement. “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.”
“I was very excited when MJ asked me to be back in the issue,” Upton added. “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.”
“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,” she continued.