LOS ANGELES (Reuters)
— Sports Illustrated
magazine on Thursday unveiled its annual swimsuit issue with models
Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen on the cover of its
50th anniversary edition.
Agdal, 21, from Denmark, and Americans Teigen and Aldridge,
both 28, are the latest models to win a spot on the cover of the
magazine's swimsuit issue, which has boasted the likes of Heidi
Klum, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks and Kate Upton on its cover
early in their careers.
The three models, wearing just bikini bottoms and knee-deep in
light blue water, coyly turn their heads and smile with their
backsides facing the camera on the cover.
Aldridge, who is best known as a Victoria's Secret underwear
model, is the first Sports Illustrated model to grace the cover
in her first appearance in the magazine since Klum did so in
The 50th anniversary cover that is seen by some 70 million
readers in the magazine, online and on mobile devices was
unveiled on ABC's late night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
The cover, which was photographed by James Macari, was projected
onto a screen before a crowd outside the show's studio on
Hollywood Boulevard in the historical heart of the U.S. film
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition will be released on
February 18 and is the most widely read edition each year of the
magazine, which is owned by Time Warner Inc. Being on the cover
or inside its pages can launch a career for a model.
Agdal has appeared in swimsuit edition for the third consecutive
year while Teigen, who married R&B singer John Legend last year,
has been photographed by Sports Illustrated for each of the past
It is also the first ensemble cover since 2006 and the fifth
cover to have multiple models.
This year's golden anniversary issue will feature 22
former models, including 1964 inaugural cover model Babette March,
1970s supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, 1980s cover models Kathy Ireland and
Paulina Porizkova as well as recent cover models Brooklyn Decker and
"Sports Illustrated models represent the girl next door, only
pretty," Tiegs said at an event last month celebrating the issue's
"They are not thin. For the most part, they are very athletic and
healthy," Tiegs, 66, added. "That is the image they we portray."
Joining generations of swimwear models in the issue
will be a pictorial spread of the plastic Barbie doll, who will
appear in the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel Inc figurine wore
in her 1959 debut.
In mimicking Sports Illustrated's famous swimsuit shoots,
70-year-old fashion and sports photographer Walter Iooss Jr. took
the photos of Barbie.
Built around the marketing slogan "unapologetic," the inclusion of
Barbie in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue unites two brands long
assailed by critics as promoting impossibly skinny looks and
Sports Illustrated, which was first published in 1954, developed the
swimsuit edition to help the magazine's slow sales in the
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by