Kate Upton Does It Again – Sports Illustrated 2013 Swimsuit Cover

The upcoming edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit extravaganza will once again feature model Kate Upton, the reigning cover girl.

Selected from a group of 17 contenders, Upton sports a different and more unique look than she did for the 2012 mag (in her quite-revealing red string mini-bikini).  The reason for donning a fur-lined parka for 2013 is due to her photo shoot locale being the Antarctica.

Kate Upton 2013 SI Cover
Kate Upton by Derek Kettella/Sports Illustrated

For the 1st time in its long history, SI sent their models and photographers to all 7 continents for this, the 50th time the sports mag has been presenting curves of a different nature to its sports-minded audience during the winter cold.

As there are undoubtedly swimsuit fans who would rather view both pieces of a bikini, SI will show images of Upton in her white brief 2-piece bathing suit, with at least 1 complete with a penguin in the background. Although technically it was summer in Antarctica during her 10-day December photo gig, the frigid temp (reportedly 35 degrees below) was a far cry from her 2012 cover, shot in Sydney, Australia. Despite the frigid cold, Upton said that Antarctica is “the most beautiful place I’ve ever been,” but recommends keeping your clothes on. A 1 minute 41 second video of Upton being photographed in the icy cold may be seen at SI Kate Upton Intimate.

SI_2013_Kate_Upton
Kate Upton by Derek Kettella/Sports Illustrated

MORE STATS: This appearance in the annual SI issue marks number 3 for Upton (20 years old, 5’10” tall, 33D-25-36), following her 2012 cover and as the 2011 Rookie of the Year. Upton is the 9th model in the 50 year history* to be featured on the cover 2 times; 4 have been cover model 3 times; Elle Macpherson holds the record as she landed the role 5 times (3 alone and shared with others 2 times); Kathy Ireland lays claim for the most consecutive appearances in the swimsuit issue at 13; the last back-to-back cover with a single model was 3-peater Macpherson in 1986, 1987, and 1988 (Tyra Banks was on the cover back-to-back in 1996 and 1997 but shared the former with Valeria Mazza) ; Christie Brinkley was the 1st and only other 3-peater (1979, 1980, 1981); the most models on a single cover has been 8 in 2006; the 1st issue photographed in more than 1 country was 1989; the 1st issue featuring a “topless” cover model was 2000 with Daniela Pestova.

The formal unveiling of the cover was on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” where Upton was joined by 9 of the other models. SI, of course, was hoping the TV gig would be a surprise for all. However, the cover was leaked Friday and the mag followed with a tweet: “POLAR BARE: @KateUpton in Antarctica is your 2013 SI Swimsuit Cover Model.” The magazine hits newsstands February 12.

* While 2014 will be the “50th Anniversary” (the idea launched on January 20, 1964, as simply a 5-page supplement with 1 model, Babette March),  mathematically the 2013 issue is the 50th time women in bikinis, as well as 1-piece suits, have been a staple for SI. All of the Swimsuit edition covers may be seen, chronologically, at the SI Vault.

Congrats Kate Upton for your Repeat!

Is a 3-peat in her future? As the saying goes, only time will tell.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition – An Annual Winter Mega-Event Since 1964

As there has been extensive coverage regarding bikinis and supermodels the past few weeks, starting with Extra’s Maria Menounos bikini-clad show in Times Square, followed by the unveiling of Kate Upton as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model (again in Times Square), and then by former SI supermodel Kathy Ireland gracing Forbes as a supermogul, perhaps a brief look at the history of SI and their Swimsuit Issue is in order.

On January 20, 1964, Sports Illustrated magazine began what has become an annual megaevent, while also assisting in greatly popularizing the bikini and in launching a new Supermodel era.

The original idea was to fill some pages of the magazine with content during the then-slow winter sporting months. The issue featured Babette March on the cover with a five-page layout inside.

The vast majority of women who have graced the Swimsuit Edition cover and interior have been models, though entertainers and athletes have also participated, such as Beyonce Knowles (cover), Anna Kournikova (inset and interior) and Danica Patrick (interior).

Only one woman has claimed the throne five times, that being Elle Macpherson (1986, 1987, 1988, 1994 – shared with Kathy Ireland and Rachel Hunter, and 2006 – featuring an all-star cast of previous cover models). Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley and Daniela Pestova have each adorned the cover three times.

As an aside, the time period between Macpherson’s first and most recent cover appearance was 20 years (1986 and 2006) with Tiegs coming in second in that category at 13 years (1970 and 1983).

While most people probably relate the Swimsuit Edition entirely with bikinis there have been plenty of issues where a one-piece suit was featured though, admittedly, the last one-piece cover appeared in 1998 with Heidi Klum.

More recently, in the 21st century, the bikinis have become smaller or non-existant with some covers displaying the models wearing just the bottoms while holding their bikini tops or covering themselves, i.e., the 2006 “All Star SI Cover Model Beach Party.”

Throughout the years SI has lost some readers due to the provocative nature of the women and their suits, they have been critized by others who have accused the magazine of selling women as a product, and probably myriad other reasons.

Despite it all, Sports Illustrated has survived and is the 15th largest circulation magazine in the United States while the Swimsuit Edition generally ranks extremely well in single issue sales every year.

And, as an bonus, especially for the models, SI has launched quite a few very profitable careers.

One can only speculate what the 50th Anniversary issue will contain in 2014.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Model Kate Upton Captures Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue Cover

Guess model, 19 year old Kate Upton, claimed the coveted “Super Cover” over nine other final contenders, as announced on David Letterman’s “Late Show.”

The fanfare utilized by SI for the New York announcement is nothing less than spectacular, with an unveiling of a huge cover reproduction in Time’s Square.

Her selection is a unique distinction, joining such company as Christie Brinkely and Elle Macpherson, as the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition sells more copies than any other magazine in existence.

Kate Upton was photographed by Walter Iooss Jr.
in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Swimsuit by Suit Yourself Bikinis by Kathleen Bruening

Despite the fact that the cover leaked and was rapidly spread online in no way diminishes the impact of the announcement.

As the 5’10” winner points out in the video following, SI does a tremendous job in name recognition for all of the models who were in contention:


Congratulations to SI 2012 Swimsuit Model of the Year Kate Upton, who had been named Rookie of the Year in her bid to capture the 2011 SI special cover.

Perhaps TV’s Extra had planned their bikini revealing excursion specifically to the Square with correspondent Maria Menounos, after losing her Super Bowl wager, knowing SI would soon follow. Just a thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street One