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

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