NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a spectacular assemblage of entertainment impresarios, international fashion zeitgeists, philanthropists and jaw-dropping beauty, twenty-two former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit @SI_Swimsuit cover models will be featured in a Salute to the Legends of Swimsuit editorial production that serves as a cornerstone of SI Swimsuit 2014 premiering February 18 across the web, mobile and newsstands.
Carol Alt, Tyra Banks, Elsa Benitez, Christie Brinkley, Brooklyn Decker, Yamila Diaz-Rahi, Rachel Hunter, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum, Babette March, Marisa Miller, Carolyn Murphy, Petra Nemcova, Daniela Pestova, Paulina Porizkova, Bar Refaeli, Rebecca Romijn, Irina Shayk, Cheryl Tiegs, Kate Upton, Vendela and Veronica Varekova were brought together in New York City last fall for a once-in-a-lifetime event – the largest one-time gathering of Swimsuit cover models in history.
"The legacy of Swimsuit is personified through the trailblazing careers of its cover models and it was important to celebrate these extraordinary women as part of our 50th Anniversary," said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day.
Sports Illustrated Productions captured exclusive one-on-one interviews with the cover models, current and former editors and photographers who shared raucous behind-the-scenes tales from Swimsuit shoots and cover model glory. World-renowned photographer Walter Iooss Jr. – with more than five decades of shooting Swimsuit, including 12 covers – was given the assignment to capture these legends, reuniting him with many of his former subjects.
A new legend is also joining the ranks this year. Making her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit appearance in 2014 is none other than the iconic doll, Barbie®. Launched in 1959 in her classic black and white bathing suit, Barbie® doll is now joining the ranks of the legendary models of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Barbie – like many of these women – made her public debut in a swimsuit. And like many of these women, Barbie has gone on to enjoy success in a number of careers – more than 150 careers, in fact.
SI commissioned Walter Iooss Jr. to produce a special editorial shoot featuring 22 Barbie® dolls. Also look for behind-the-scenes coverage of the legends' production with cameos from Barbie to be featured across SI SwimDaily @SI_Swimdaily.
"From its earliest days, Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength and beauty and we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner," said Day.
Barbie is also a proud partner of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Celebration. As an anniversary tribute, Barbie is issuing a collector Sports Illustrated™ Barbie® Doll, now available exclusively on Target.com. Barbie will also host a pink-carpet event at the SI Swimsuit Beach House on February 17, with fellow Swimsuit legends on hand to kick off Swimsuit 2014 launch week. Fans can follow the doll @Barbie and join the conversation online with #unapologetic.
About Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (SI.com/Swimsuit) franchise reaches more than 62 million people annually, and more men 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. The iconic franchise now spans more than 20 product extensions in digital social, broadcast, publishing, mobile and consumer products, along with supporting a vibrant experiential marketing business. Since debuting in 1964 Swimsuit has become a pop-culture phenomenon and an established launching pad for successful careers in TV, fashion, business and film including those of Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. All of Swimsuit's product extensions are built upon a heritage of amazing photography and footage of gorgeous models and athletes from the most exotic locations in the world.
The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel's portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and is also ranked No. 2 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel's companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.
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SOURCE Sports Illustrated