NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hailey Clauson, Ashley Graham and Ronda Rousey are the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover models; each gracing their own individual cover which were unveiled during a first of its kind broadcast special on TNT earlier this evening. The 2016 SI Swimsuit multiplatform launch across print, digital (www.si.com/swimsuit), mobile and NYC Fan Festivals are set for Monday, February 15.
This is the first time SI Swimsuit has produced multiple covers of its Swimsuit edition. On the decision to go with an unprecedented three individual covers, SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day said: "What defines beauty today? The truth is, times have changed and one size does not fit all. Our position on beauty is well known—healthy, curvy, vivacious and bold. It's not a size. The three cover models—Hailey Clauson, Ronda Rousey and Ashley Graham—demonstrate that…. So we don't have just one cover, because beauty doesn't take just one form."
All three are making their first cover appearance and each commented on the honor moments after finding out together earlier this evening:
Hailey Clauson said, "I'm shaking and crying. I love it so much because it represents three different strong and beautiful women."
Ashley Graham said, "I'm insanely speechless. I cannot comprehend how I feel right now. This will go down in the books forever. It is a historic moment. Not only is this the first time that I'm in the issue, but I'm on the cover and sharing this honor with two of the most stunning women. This is for all the women who didn't think they were beautiful because of their size. This is for them."
Ronda Rousey said, "It's a real honor being part of such a historic issue that really pays homage to different body types of women and not promoting just one cookie cutter image for every woman, but showing that the healthiest version of every body type is the sexiest version out there. And I couldn't be happier...I think I was just as honored to get it as to be there in person to watch Ashley's reaction (laughs)."
Clauson, Graham and Rousey join the ranks of fashion, entertainment and business titans Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, and Christie Brinkley who have appeared on the SI Swimsuit cover. This is the 52nd edition of SI Swimsuit which now reaches 70MM U.S. adults – more 18-34 year old men than the Super Bowl via print, digital, mobile products and consumer events.
SI Swimsuit 2016 was produced entirely on island destinations around the world, including the Dominican Republic, Tahiti, Malta and Zanzibar. Rousey's cover was shot in the Bahamas by Frederic Pinet and features the cultural phenomenon wearing a body paint swimsuit. Clauson and rookie Graham were both photographed by James Macari on location in Turks & Caicos.
The issue boasts an extraordinarily diverse cast of models that includes accomplished authors, advocates, actors, world champion and Olympic athletes. They represent some of the most powerful brands (including themselves) in the world, and the group includes five returning cover models -- including one, Irina Shayk, who is celebrating a decade shooting with SI — and five "rookies" making their first ever Sports Illustrated Swimsuit appearance. The full cast of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 models includes: Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, Rose Bertram, Kate Bock, Hailey Clauson, Hannah Davis, Emily DiDonato, Hannah Ferguson, Ashley Graham, Gigi Hadid, Erin Heatherton, Samantha Hoopes, Chanel Iman, Bo Krsmanovic, Robyn Lawley, Tanya Mityushina, Barbara Palvin, Sofia Resing, Kelly Rohrbach, Ronda Rousey, Irina Shayk, Chrissy Teigen, Lindsey Vonn and Caroline Wozniacki.
Beginning Monday, 2/15, the new issue will be available on newsstands and the content will be accessible on the brand new SI Swimsuit App as well as on SI.com/swimsuit and on tablet editions of the magazine. For the first time ever this year, SI Swimsuit is honoring its tradition of innovation to present a suite of virtual reality experiences taking viewers inside the iconic photo shoots of some of the world's top models in some of the most exotic locations on the planet.
A series of immersive VR content featuring former Swimsuit cover models Nina Agdal, Irina Shayk and Hannah Davis will be available at launch in the new SI Swimsuit App along with thousands of photos, videos and stories.
Tonight's first-of-its-kind broadcast event on TNT introduced the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers to the world and to the models themselves who were surprised on set. The festivities were hosted by Nick Cannon and Rebecca Romjin and included more than 20 2016 Swimsuit models in attendance, along with a performance by NE-YO and the presentation of the Jule Campbell Award to model/entrepreneur Elle Macpherson.
Cover photo credits: James Macari/Sports Illustrated (Graham and Clauson); Frederic Pinet/Sports Illustrated (Rousey)
ABOUT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT:
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise (www.SI.com/Swimsuit) reaches more than 70 million US adults annually and more men 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. The iconic franchise spans 20 product extensions along with a vibrant experiential marketing business. Since debuting in 1964 Swimsuit has become a pop-culture phenomenon and a revered launching pad for successful careers in TV, fashion, business and film including those of Elle Macpherson, Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and Chrissy Teigen. Further, the fashion industry describes SI Swimsuit as the "Oscars of Swimwear," as an appearance in the issue is a crowning achievement for swimsuit and accessory manufacturers.
SI Swimsuit is part of Time Inc. Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.
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SOURCE Sports Illustrated