The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has become a cultural phenomenon, featuring some of the most famous models and celebrities in the world.
This year, Danielle Herrington became the third black woman to grace the cover, joining legends Tyra Banks and Beyonce. Inside the magazine, Hunter McGrady made history as the curviest model to be featured in the publication.
Other notable models include Kate Upton, who appeared on her third cover this year, Nina Agdal, Elsa Hosk, Ashley Graham, and newcomer Winnie Harlow.
Celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Jeter (formerly Davis), Olivia Culpo, Christie Brinkley (who posed with her daughters), Kate Bock, and Sailor Brinkley Cook have also been featured in the magazine.
As the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue continues to break barriers and showcase a diverse range of beauty, fans can’t wait to see who will be featured next.
List of the Top 30 Models to Appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
Hundreds of women have been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition over the years. And with the magazine now focusing on their digital version and global reach, those participating in the annual event is growing and more diverse than ever before.
Let’s now take a look at some of the most famous models, names and personalities that have participated in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition — both in print and digital form.
1. Kate Upton holds the record for most SI Swimsuit covers, gracing the magazine a total of three times in 2012, 2013, and 2017.
2. Ashley Graham made history as the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of SI Swimsuit in 2016.
3. Tyra Banks was the first black woman to land an SI Swimsuit cover in 1997, and she went on to appear again in 2006 and 2019.
5. Heidi Klum made her mark on the magazine with a pregnant shoot for the 1998 issue.
6. Chrissy Teigen became a fan favorite after her first appearance in 2010, and returned for the cover in 2014.
7. Hailey Clauson stunned on her first SI Swimsuit cover in 2016, and returned for the 2019 issue alongside Sports Illustrated veteran Tyra Banks.
8. Bar Refaeli made waves with her 2009 cover, becoming the first Israeli model to snag the spot.
9. Christie Brinkley graced not one, but three SI Swimsuit covers back-to-back in 1979, 1980, and 1981.
10. Hannah Davis Jeter earned her place as a cover girl in 2015, and also appeared in 2017 before retiring from modeling to start a family with baseball star Derek Jeter.
11. Danielle Herrington became the third black woman to land a SI Swimsuit cover in 2018, following in the footsteps of Tyra Banks and Beyonce.
12. Nina Agdal made her mark on the magazine with her first cover in 2012, and returned for a second time in 2014.
13. Ronda Rousey made history as the first-ever female athlete to snag a SI Swimsuit cover in 2016.
14. Elle Macpherson is known as “The Body” and appeared on the cover a record five times in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, and 2006.
15. Daniela Pestova earned her place as a cover girl not once, but twice in 2000 and 2003.
16. Irina Shayk won over fans with her first cover in 2011, and returned for a second time in 2015 alongside tennis star Rafael Nadal.
17. Paulina Porizkova made history as the first model from Central Europe to appear on the cover in 1984, and she returned for a second time in 1985 before becoming a judge on America’s Next Top Model.
18. Cheryl Tiegs became an icon after appearing on not one, but three SI Swimsuit covers in 1970, 1975, and 1983.
19. Rebecca Romijn made a splash with her first appearance on the cover in 1999, and returned for a second time alongside singer Enrique Iglesias in 2006.
20. Ashley Sky captivated fans with her first SI Swimsuit appearance in 2013, and returned for a second time in 2017.
21. Petra Nemcova made her mark on the magazine with a nude shoot for the 2004 issue, and returned for a second time in 2006.
22. Marisa Miller became an instant sensation after earning her first SI Swimsuit cover in 2008, and returned for a second time alongside NFL star Troy Polamalu in 2010.
23. Elle Macpherson’s good friend and fellow supermodel, Heidi Klum, joined her on the cover in 1998 before appearing solo in 1999.
24. Veronica Varekova earned her place as a cover girl twice in 2004 and 2006.
25. Beverly Johnson made history as the first black woman to appear on the cover of SI Swimsuit in 1975.
26. Jessica Gomes appeared on the cover in 2014, becoming the first Australian model to do so.
27. Christie Brinkley’s daughter, Sailor Brinkley Cook, followed in her mother’s footsteps with a 2018 SI Swimsuit appearance alongside fellow models Chase Carter and Robin Holzken.
28. Gigi Hadid made her mark on the magazine with a shoot alongside boyfriend Cody Simpson in 2015, before appearing solo on the cover in 2016.
29. Kate Upton’s fiance, Justin Verlander, joined her on the 2017 cover as part of a couples shoot alongside tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and NBA player David Lee.
30. Chanel Iman became a fan favorite after appearing on the cover in 2013, and returned for a second time alongside MMA fighter Conor McGregor in 2016.
Facts About the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
Did you know that the first ever Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was published in 1964? It featured a single model, Babette March, wearing a white bikini on a beach. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that the magazine featured its first African American swimsuit model, Tyra Banks.
In addition to featuring diverse models, the Swimsuit Edition also showcases unique locations for its photoshoots. Some of these locations include the Great Wall of China, Antarctica, and even outer space with a zero-gravity photoshoot featuring model Kate Upton.
The Swimsuit Edition has also become known for its use of unusual items in its photoshoots. In 2004, model Petra Nemcova posed holding only a strategically placed catfish for her photo. And in 2016, model Hailey Clauson posed wearing only body paint and a live stingray.
The Swimsuit Edition has also launched the careers of several successful models, including Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, and Heidi Klum. It has also featured high profile celebrities such as Beyoncé, Christie Brinkley, and Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard.
In 2018, Sports Illustrated made history by featuring its first plus-size cover model, size 16 Ashley Graham. This move towards body diversity continues to pave the way for more inclusive representation in the fashion industry.
Overall, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition has evolved from featuring a single model in a bikini to showcasing diversity in models, locations, and even props. It remains an eagerly anticipated annual publication for both fans and newcomers alike.
SI Covers Featuring the Most Beautiful Models and Celebrities in the World
Overall, the SI Swimsuit issue continues to showcase some of the most beautiful models and celebrities from all over the world. Each year brings new stunners and trailblazers to the magazine’s pages, making it a highly anticipated annual release.