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File: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is published annually by magazine, Sports Illustrated.
The cover photograph features fashion models wearing swimwear in exotic locales. All models featured on the cover of the swimsuit issue in the magazine's history have been women. According to some, the magazine is the arbiter of supermodel succession. The swimsuit issue of the magazine carries advertising that, in 2005 amounted to US$35 million in value. New issues come out around the middle of February or later. First published in 1964, it is credited with making the bikini, invented in 1946, a legitimate piece of apparel. The issue that got the most letters was the 1978 issue. The best selling issue was the 25th Anniversary Issue with Kathy Ireland on the cover in 1989.
Through the years many models, such as Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, Elle Macpherson, Rachel Hunter, Rebecca Romijn, Petra Nemcova, Valeria Mazza, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, and Marisa Miller, have been featured on the cover. Other models within its pages, but not on its cover, include Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Niki Taylor, Angie Everhart, and Naomi Campbell. The eight models featured on the cover of the 2006 issue were featured in a coffee-table book called Sports Illustrated: Exposure. Photographed by Raphael Mazzucco, and produced by Diane Smith, the unprecedented "reunion shoot" featured 139 pages of unpublished images. In 2006, the issue expanded publishing to handheld devices. In 2007, the swimsuit issue was first available in China.
The swimsuit issue was invented by Sports Illustrated editor Andre Laguerre to fill the winter months, a typically slow point in the sporting calendar. He asked fashion reporter Jule Campbell to go on a shoot to fill space, including the cover, with a beautiful model. The first issue, released in 1964, entailed a cover featuring Babette March and a five-page layout. Campbell soon became a powerful figure in modeling and molded the issue into a media phenomenon by featuring "bigger and healthier" California women and printing the names of the models with their photos, beginning a new supermodel era. However, the issue did not exclusively feature models until 1997. In the 1950s a few women appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but the 1964 issue is considered to be the beginning of the current format known as the Swimsuit Issue. Tyra Banks was the first black woman on the cover.
Several female athletes have appeared in swimsuit shoots, though not on the cover. Steffi Graf appeared in 1997. In the 2003 issue, tennis player Serena Williams and figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva were featured inside the magazine. Anna Kournikova appeared in an inset on the 2004 cover, and had a photo spread within its pages.
In 2005, Olympic gold medalists Amanda Beard and Jennie Finch, along with Lauren Jackson and Venus Williams, were featured. Maria Sharapova appeared in an inset on the 2006 cover and had a spread inside. In spring 2006, Sports Illustrated chose music as the theme for the 2007 issue. Swimsuit editor Diane Smith wanted Grammy-winner Beyoncé Knowles to pose. In 2006, Beyoncé launched a swimsuit line under her House of Deréon clothing label. Beyoncé Knowles became the first singer, and first non-model, to appear on the cover in 2007.
In 2008, NFL cheerleaders appeared for the first time. Teams include the Buccaneers, Chargers, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Redskins and Texans.
Race car driver Danica Patrick appeared in 2008. She was featured in a four-page spread set in Singer Island, Florida.
For the 2010 issue, four female Winter Olympians appeared in swimsuits: Clair Bidez, Lacy Schnoor, Hannah Teter, and Lindsey Vonn as well as Ana Ivanovic. Criticism of Ivanovic's appearance in the magazine shortly surfaced, as the Serb was suffering a decline in form and confidence and subsequently dropped out of the WTA's Top 50 a month after appearing in the magazine. However, since November 2010 Ivanovic has re-entered the World's Top 20 and regained her old form and confidence.