Alt, who still looks fabulous at 53, made the stunning slam in the December issue of Galore, a fashion magazine devoted to shopping, models and sex advice.
With the latest swimsuit issue hitting the newsstands two weeks ago, and Kate, 21, once again getting major play, Alt repeated her criticism in an interview with the HuffingtonPost (Feb. 25).
“I like Kate [Upton], she’s a pretty girl, but all the girls are nice, and all the girls are pretty,” Alt said.
“What I don’t understand with Kate [Upton] is what’s all the hullaballoo? There are many covers of Sports Illustrated — one girl was just wearing a bottom, no top.
“I don’t get what all the hullabaloo is. I think what it is is that in this moment there’s just so much social media and that’s why she’s had more word of mouth than anybody,” she added.
Alt rose to prominence when she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in 1982. At 22, she was just three years older than Upton, when she landed her first SI cover.
The swimsuit issue, however, wasn’t quite as big as it is today, and Alt’s real breakthrough in modeling came when she appeared on the cover of Elle magazine in 1986.
The ’80s was known as the era of supermodels, and Alt rose to the top of the business.
The term was coined in a 1981 Life magazine article that singled out models Shelley Hack, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Margaux Hemingway, Christina Ferrare and Cheryl Tiegs. as the industry’s new “million dollar faces.”
They were soon joined by models Gia Carangi, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Kim Alexis, Paulina Porizkova, Kathy Ireland, Brooke Shields, Heather Locklear and Elle “The Body” Macpherson.
“Back in the day,” Alt says, supermodels were distinguished by “the wide variety of clients you had, the number of days you worked, the number of covers you had.”
Indeed, Alt graced more than 500 covers during her career.
Today’s models, she adds, aren’t looked at in the same way. “For today’s girls it’s about how much money you make and the number of Twitter followers you have,” she says.
“What I actually mean is, the criteria has changed. I know one thing, I’ve seen Karlie Kloss’s body and I wish I had it!” she says.
But as for Upton, well…
“I think Kate is a product of great media hype,” she told Galore. “Without Sports Illustrated, I’m not sure she would’ve made it in the industry as a high fashion model.”
“I don’t think she’s in any way fat or overweight or anything; she’s just more large-sized than fashion models are,” the ex-supermodel says.
“I think Kate is very good at…hmmmm– how do I put it? She’s engaging,” she says.
“She comes to the set prepared to work, in a good mood, engages her client, and she looks at herself as a business. To more expand on that thought, what I’m trying to say is: after she got herself into Sports Illustrated, she wasted no time.”
Upton has drawn some heat in the industry from critics who claim she is too fat to model. But the Florida native has been embraced by Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, who has promoted her high-fashion career and given her ample play in the magazine.
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