Kate Upton’s modeling portfolio continues to expand — she’s been everywhere from Sports Illustrated to Vogue and landed gigs as the face of Bobbi Brown and Express. And now we’ve got the first look at Upton’s Express denim and fall campaigns. Check out the supermodel, below, as she poses in everything from a slouchy sweater to a slinky LBD, and read our exclusive interview on everything from Upton’s surprising recent splurge to how she describes her own style.
“It’s really exciting for me to be the brand ambassador for Express this year because it is a brand that I have grown up with and always wear,” Upton, 22, tells PEOPLE, adding that her first Express purchase was “definitely a tank top — I grew up in Florida!” and that her most recent bargain buy was also from the line: a pair of lace shorts for 40% off. (Her most recent splurge? “A brand new saddle for my horse!”)
And despite the fact that much of her modeling experience has been in swim, Upton said that posing in contemporary clothing was not more of a challenge than any other photoshoot she’s been on. “Every time I am on a fashion set I try to treat it completely differently from any shoot that I have been on, so it would be impossible to compare,” she says. “It helps to make the pictures way more fun for my fans to see — and for me!”
Upton walked off the set with “a ton of outfits,” including “the hot black dress and jumpsuit,” but she says that her day-to-day style is much more laid back than the “classic, sophisticated and sexy” vibe she aims for at red carpet events (see her favorite dress here!). “I love to get all dressed up, but it can be really exhausting to get done-up like that every day,” she shares. “When I’m on my own, it’s more realistic for me to be casual and comfortable because I love to be outside and I am always hanging out with friends and family.”
Much has been made of Upton’s famously curvy body, so we asked if she’s picked up any tips for dressing herself from stylists on her many photoshoots. But as it turns out, her best style advice came from a source a little closer to home. “My mom always told me not to buy anything that I don’t love, and I find that very helpful when shopping,” she says. “The hardest thing for me about finding clothes is you have to shop a season ahead of time, and I don’t like to plan that far in advance.”
Perhaps Upton’s favorite thing about the shoot (besides the early birthday cupcake she received — her 22nd was Tuesday!) was the killer soundtrack. “I love when other people pick the playlist for my shoots because I get to learn about new music! Right now my favorite pump-up song is ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea.” Makes sense — Upton’s life just keeps getting fancier. What do you think of Upton’s shoot? Are you excited to see the ads? Tell us in the comments!