Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge – 2014 SI Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Cover Models

Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge adorn the cover of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as announced on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, marking yet another change for SI (a few others follow) as the previous six issues had been revealed on the Late Show with David Letterman. A large replica of the cover featuring the three lovely ladies was unveiled just prior to midnight. Jimmy did, however, goof, stating that it was the first time ever three women graced the cover. That did occur once prior, in 1994 (with Kathy Ireland, Rachel Hunter and Elle Macpherson).

Sport Illustrated Swimsuit 2014Sports Illustrated launched its now internationally famous Swimsuit Issue back on January 20, 1964, though that inaugural issue was simply a five-page supplement within the magazine, featuring Babette March. The idea of swimsuits in winter took hold and the edition has become not only an annual event that has launched many models into super stardom but also one of the world’s largest selling single magazine issues, with sales typically topping more than one million copies.

Jimmy Kimmel Live SICommunication travels at lightning speed these days and there are times that surprises are not able to be kept as envisioned.

That has been the case during the past few years as leaks of SI photos have surfaced, some planned and some not. For 2014, SI began a teaser campaign on their website Swim Daily featuring 2013 Rookie of the Year Hannah Davis (below) showing off a selection from the Jersey Strong campaign, one of the slogans used as New Jersey continues to re-build after the devastation brought by Superstorm Sandy.

Hannah Davis SI 2014
Photograph by Ben Watts/SI, Swimsuit by Kate Swim

In actual fact, SI started posting “Mystery Model” photos of swimsuit ladies back in June 2013, shortly after starting work on the 2014 edition. These were cropped photos showing body and no face, to keep readers guessing and build even more interest. On February 5, SI began posting images of the dozen Rookies selected to appear in the mag, and on February 12, the never-aging Barbie (55-year-old Barbara Millicent Roberts) was announced as the first-ever Rookie Legend, making an appearance in a restyled version of her original 1959 one-piece swimsuit.

For some additional history concerning SI Swimsuit Issue models and statistics please see the 2013 post, featuring Kate Upton.

Congratulations to Chrissy, Nina and Lily on your accomplishment.

The magazine will be at newsstands on Tuesday, February 18.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

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.

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

Kathy Ireland Story In Forbes Closely Follows Kate Upton SI Swimsuit Cover Launch

People in public relations and marketing who are clever will capitalize on any and every opportunity to promote their good and services.

That is their function, after all, to make their client stand out and sell product.

Thus, it is really no surprise that Kathy Ireland, former Sports Illustrated cover and supermodel who turned into quite the successful businesswoman, has captured the cover, and cover story, of a soon-to-be-released issue of Forbes magazine.

Ireland was featured in the SI Swimsuit edition 13 times, including gracing the cover on three of those. Her 1989 cover, the 25th anniversary edition, still holds the crown as the best-selling swimsuit issue of all time.

Back to the point at hand.

Following an extremely successful release of the latest SI swimsuit issue, wherein all manner of attention is bestowed upon the winner, Kate Upton, and Sports Illustrated, it makes perfect sense for Ireland, and Forbes, to ride that wave and, perhaps, garner, extreme sales for the Queen of Licensing (Martha Stewart holds second place).

Ireland’s business and career strategy, detailed in Forbes, paid off quite handsomely. Catering to the working mom with her products, Kathy Ireland Worldwide is worth north of $300 million.

The lady has done quite well, to say the least.

And, even if someone is to say that the timing of Forbes featuring Ireland so quickly following Upton and the SI Swimsuit edition is a coincidence, this blogger won’t buy it as everyone knows the approximate annual date for uncovering the swimsuit beauties.

Congratulations to Kathy Ireland for making, it certainly appears, all the right moves.

Over For Now.

Main Street One