Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue firsts

Excitement is building around the release of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

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(Sports Illustrated)

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2016 – Just days away from the release of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, anticipation is reaching a feverish frenzy.

ashley-SI
Ashley Graham Sports Illustrated Swimsuits for All model – promotional image
Nicola Griffin Sports Illustrated Swimsuits for All model - promotional image
Nicola Griffin Sports Illustrated Swimsuits for All model – promotional image

The swimsuit issue has become not only a much-anticipated publication by every age group of men, but also a financial powerhouse for Time, Inc., the parent of SI. The single issue now accounts for more than 7% of revenue for Sports Illustrated and sells over a million copies.

This year, the magazine is expanding its horizons with the #SwimSexy Swimsuits for All campaign. The issue will include the first plus size model, Ashley Graham, and the oldest SI Swimsuit model, 56-year-old Nicola Griffin.

Based on the SI Swimsuit 2016: Final Sneak Peak video, the 2016 issue will also feature plenty of what those 1 million readers are looking for.


In honor of the iconic issue, following are a list of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue firsts and other honors:

First Issue: The first swimsuit issue was January 20, 1964, and popularized the bikini.

First SI Swimsuit Issue - https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14232156
First SI Swimsuit Issue Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights
– https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14232156

Best selling issue: The 1989 issue with Kathy Ireland on the cover is still the best-selling issue.

Kathy-Ireland-Sports-Illustrated-
Kathy Ireland Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights

Most letters: The 1978 issue “The Beauties of Brazil” received the most letters to the magazine. The reason was not the cover,  however, but the fishnet suit sported by Cheryl Tiegs. That issue also received the most cancellations.

Cheryl Tiegs - Sports Illustrated promotional image - SI reserves all rights
Cheryl Tiegs – Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights

First African American: Tyra Banks in 1996 was the first African American to appear on the cover of a the SI swimsuit issue. She shared the cover that year with Valerie Mazza. Banks was also the first solo African American cover model the following year.

Tyra Banks - Sports Illustrated promotional image - SI reserves all rights
Tyra Banks – Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights

Youngest cover model: Paulina Porizkova was 18 when she appeared on the cover in 1984. She is still the youngest cover model.

Paulina Porizkova –- Sports Illustrated promotional image - SI reserves all rights
Paulina Porizkova –- Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights

First non-model/non-athlete: Beyonce appeared on the cover in 2007.

Beyonce - Sports Illustrated promotional image - SI reserves all rights
Beyonce – Sports Illustrated promotional image – SI reserves all rights

Most cover appearances: Elle Macpherson has appeared on the cover five times. Her first cover was in 1986, and her last cover (so far) was in 2006.

The 2016 Swimsuit Issue hits the stands on February 16.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.