Third time's a charm for Kate Upton. Actually, every time on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has been a charm for Kate Upton, which is probably why the magazine asked her back after two other successful cover appearances. SI made its heart-pounding announcement on (appropriately enough) Valentine's Day, proclaiming that the "incomparable" Florida native "is back where she belongs." And to commemorate her legendary status, SI has worked up three separate covers for the annual swimsuit extravaganza—something that organically emerged as Upton posed for the cameras.
"We were trying so many different looks on her and each photo was coming back just as great as the next," says MJ Day, the annual issue's editor. People notes Upton first graced the swimsuit edition's cover in 2012 at the age of 19, followed by a sophomore appearance in 2013. Now 24, the supermodel tells SI she was "very excited" to be recruited for a third time, "especially when this year's theme is about every woman of every age and every body type being accepted." Day notes Upton was quite supportive when Ashley Graham became the first "curvy" model to appear on the swimsuit issue's cover last year. "[Upton] was proud of SI swimsuit for taking things in that direction," Day tells People. (Read more Kate Upton stories.)