Christen Harper for SI Swimsuit wearing Bonnie Bikini Stripe by Hunza G

Photo: SI Swimsuit

SI Swimsuit is Back with an Iconic 60th Anniversary Issue - These are Our Favorite Looks

Sports Illustrated Celebrated 60 years of iconic swimsuits with covers featuring their most famous alumni.

If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s the people over at Sports Illustrated. 

Celebrating 60 years of legendary models and iconic swimsuits, they returned this May with a special Swimsuit Issue unveiling 7 collectible covers. They featured some of their most famous alumni. 

Among the main cover models Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton, Gayle King, and Hunter McGrady were the most anticipated. However, there are 27 total influential women in this year’s issue including athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs. 

When you flip through the glossy pages, you’ll notice that the models are more than just bodies and swimsuits; they’re real women with inspiring stories. 

Speaking on the subject and why they chose to celebrate 60 years, SI Swimsuit Editor in Chief MJ Day says, “The Journey we’ve been on for the past 10 years is something we consider to be revolutionary.” 

As SI Swim marked its 60th anniversary this May, it is the perfect time to reflect back on how this publication has become a cultural touchstone, influencing fashion, beauty standards, and the portrayal of women in media.

A Bit of History

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debuted in 1964 as a five-page supplement to the popular magazine. It was penned by the then-editor, Andre Laguerre, who wanted to fill the void after winter sports- and it took off. 

What started out as a simple way to boost sales during the slow season quickly turned into a cultural phenomenon. Over the decades, it has become synonymous with groundbreaking photography, exotic locations, influential women and stunning swimwear. 

The magazine has not been without controversy, however. Many people look at Sports Illustrated Swim’s roots as problematic from the start. Some have stated that Sports Illustrated puts too much focus on the women depicted, no matter how diversely they cast their models. 

I think that two things can be true at once. We still have a long way to go when it comes to working out the kinks in representation among women, but I am a firm believer that any progress is good progress. 

I can only speak on one aspect of this from personal experience, but as somebody who has been mid-sized throughout a good portion of my adulthood, seeing women like me depicted in media gives me the confidence to go outside my comfort zone and wear the things that bring me joy.

Maybe the issue is more complicated than that, deeply rooted in a world that forces the idea on us that we have to fit the ideal- or any ideal- that our media feeds us. But sometimes for regular people it is that simple. It is better for brands like Sports Illustrated to try than to give us nothing at all.

The Swimsuits

Now let’s talk about the swimwear. After all, that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it? This year’s issue has something for everyone. We’re seeing a lot of throwbacks to past decades, plus a large focus on celebrating nature.

I know flipping through all those looks can be overwhelming, so that’s why I put together some highlights from the issue. Keep reading to learn a little about the models for this year’s 60th anniversary Swimsuit Edition, plus where to find their fabulous swimsuits.

Kamie Crawford

Kamie Crawford does it all. She is a television host and content creator. Even though you may have seen her on MTV’s Catfish, she is most widely celebrated for her body positivity, mental health advocacy, and activism in LGBTQIA+ and Black communities. 2024 is the third year since her debut and she totally rocked the cherry red look that took the fashion world by storm this year.

One of our favorite looks from her shoot is this iconic sporty one piece by Pursuit the Label. The London-based brand is focused on sustainability, with each suit made from recycled ocean waste. The fit is made to sculpt curves perfectly with designs that have a sexy, but athletic appeal. 

Kamie Crawford wearing the Viper Sculpt Swimsuit  by Pursuit The Label for Sport Illustrated

Photo: @kamiecrawford

The Viper Sculpt Swimsuit  by Pursuit The Label

Photo: Revolve

Lorena Durán

Like many of the women on this list, Lorena Durán worked tirelessly to earn her place at the top. She grew up spending her days dreaming of runways and high-fashion. After breaking into the industry as Victoria Secret’s first curve model, she has since become a cover model for Abercrombie, walked Madrid’s Fashion Week, and is the face of the Parisian lingerie brand, Etam. She is currently working on her own unisex, size inclusive clothing line.

As for her swimsuit, this Andrea Iyamah set fits her perfectly. The criss-cross chest straps draw attention towards her gorgeous face and the high-waisted tie-sides look stunning on a curvier body.  

Lorena Duran for Sport Illustrated wearing the Lami Bikini by Andrea Iyamah

Photo: SI Swimsuit

Lami Bikini by Andrea Iyamah

Photo: Andrea Iyamah

Sixtine

Sixtine is personally one of my favorite modern models. She is a Victoria’s Secret angel, model, content creator and body neutrality activist who lives in New York City. She works to teach people that the most important part of having a body is what it does for you and not what it looks like. 

Lybethras collaborated with Sports Illustrated for many of the hottest looks in this year’s issue. This white micro bikini is one of my faves. Sixtine is a stunner on her own, but this simple and sophisticated bikini makes her look like a goddess. If you’re championing the quiet luxury look this summer, this look is for you. 

Sixtine for Sport illustrated  in a White Bikini from Lybethras

Photo: Lybethras

Sixtine for Sport illustrated  in a White Bikini from Lybethras

Photo: Lybethras

Lauren Wasser

Sports Illustrated Swim Rookie and California native, Lauren Wasser, is known for her menstrual equity activism. She works to advocate for Toxic Shock Syndrome awareness, using her platform to share her own story and educate others about the condition. Her resilience and determination have made her a prominent figure in the modeling industry, and she continues to inspire others with her story. 

Lauren Wasser for Sport Illustrated wearing Camila One Piece by SVn Swimsuit

Photo: @theimpossiblemuse

Camila One Piece

Photo: SVN Swimsuit

This stunning white swimsuit by SVN SWIM is anything but traditional. The metal fastening at the side and asymmetrical neckline are some of the hottest trends this season, making this a daring and sexy look for this year’s trendsetters.

Yumi Nu

Yumi Nu is a woman who has conquered the hearts of many through her music, entrepreneurship, and modeling skills. She is a singer songwriter and is the owner of a size inclusive clothing brand. In the modeling world, she was the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Vogue Japan in 2022 and was the first plus-sized Asian American model to be featured on the cover of SI Swim. 

Yumi Nu for Sport Illustrated Swimsuit wearing a white one piece from 437

Photo: SI Swimsuit

The-Johnson-One-Piece in white by 437

Photo: 437

As for the swimsuit, this white one piece by Four Three Seven is an absolute stunner. It features a flattering cross-tie waist and a deep-v neckline that will stun fellow beachgoers. 

Chanel Iman

Chanel Iman graced the coast of Belize for her feature in this year’s issue. Known for her extensive career in modeling, Iman has been a staple in the fashion industry since 2016. 

Chanel Iman fro SI Swimsuit wearing a white bikini by OYE Swimwear

Photo: SI Swimsuit

Tania Bikini by OYE Swimwear in Red

Photo: OYE Swimwear

The suit by Oye Swimwear she is wearing has that sporty, old money look that everybody is drooling over this summer. Even though the white is no longer available, they still have sizes in trending denim and a spicy red for our more daring readers. 

Christen Harper

Designer, model, and active community member, Christen Harper is a California native and returning alumni. She was discovered through the Swim Search open casting call in 2021, when she became a Sports Illustrated rookie. 

Christen Harper for SI Swimsuit wearing Bonnie Bikini Stripe by Hunza G

Photo: SI Swimsuit

Bonnie Stripe Bikini by Hunza G

Photo: Hunza G

She is featured wearing the gorgeous red-striped Bonnie bikini by Hunza G. The gathered bow on the bust and bold pattern are a throwback to the seventies, perfect for any vintage-inspired beach look.

Chrissy Teigen

There is hardly a person out there who does not know Chrissy Teigen. She has her hands in everything from modeling, writing, television hosting to entrepreneurship and charity work. She was on TIME’s list of the “100 Most Influential People” in 2019 and has even written multiple cookbooks. 

Chrissy Teigen fro SI Swimsuit wearing backless V-halter swimsuit by YSL

Photo: SI Swimsuit

Backless V-halter swimsuit by Yves Saint Laurant

Photo: Farfetch

One of the most luxurious pieces of swimwear on the list, this Saint Laurent plunging v-halter is equal parts bold and sexy. The color is a striking golden orange and the suit looks liquid smooth, hitting every curve just right. It’s a splurge, but if you’re looking for something that will turn heads the price is worth it. 

So there you have it. There were so many different looks to choose from this year, it was impossible to boil it down to only 8. If I had more time, I would regale you with the tales of each lovely model and gush about every gorgeous swimsuit. Alas, we wouldn’t want to keep you reading forever! 

If you’re interested in seeing every look from this year’s issue or to learn more about the models, I encourage you to download a digital copy from the Sports Illustrated website. Otherwise, stay tuned this month for more news on your favorite trending swim looks. 

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