Kate Upton graces not one, not two, but three covers of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, it was revealed in a segment on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and on SI.com Tuesday night.
Upton's appearance on three national covers is a first for SI Swimsuit. It also marks her third cover appearance (2012, 2013), tying her with Christie Brinkley, who returns to SI Swimsuit this year (at 63!), Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. Elle Macpherson holds the record, with five SI Swimsuit covers. The reveal coincides with an unprecedented multi-platform, multimedia launch across print, digital, social and experiential channels.
Upton headlines the editorial production that celebrates empowered, confident beauty. The powerful cast of women, including five previous cover models (Nina Agdal, Christie Brinkley, Ashley Graham, Hannah Jeter and Chrissy Teigen), five mothers (and one expecting), five world-famous athletes (Simone Biles, Genie Bouchard, Aly Raisman, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki) and seven rookies was assembled by Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. In addition to being models, these women are authors, activists, designers, kick boxers, impresarios, Olympic gold medal winners, students, groundbreakers, singer-songwriters, up-and-coming and C-level business executives, role models and so much more.
"The women of SI Swimsuit 2017 are a collection of change agents, pioneers, power brokers and breakout stars-in-waiting who have in their own way redefined the cultural conversation around beauty," said Day.
"These ladies embody character and beauty--and they prove that when it comes to beauty, there is not one singular definition. This is the very essence of SI Swimsuit, and it's our guiding principle as we move forward."
SI Swimsuit 2017 is telling the stories of this year's amazing cast across an unprecedented number of platforms and channels, with exclusive partnerships with the biggest players in social media. Launch week will feature over a dozen Facebook Live shows, including the announcement of the 2017 Rookie of the Year winner from Facebook's Manhattan studios; a Snapchat Global Live Story following the models during Swimsuit launch; a new partnership with Giphy to create hundreds of GIFs searchable by model and topic; exclusive new YouTube videos featuring top influencers; exclusive Instagram swimsuit videos and much more. There are also partnerships with @WomenIRL--a Time Inc. Instagram community devoted to authenticity--and with Health.com to launch the new "What I Model" campaign, which coincides with the tagline for this year's edition, "Every body, Every age, Every beautiful." It will celebrate confidence and beauty in all its forms as women can participate by submitting their own videos using the #WhatIModel and #LoveYourSwimsuit tags.
In the coming days, SI Swimsuit will continue to roll out never-before-seen photos and video content, including 360-degree videos from shoots in Fiji and Mexico, nearly 1,000 bonus pictures, dozens of new Swimsuit videos, premium in-app content and much more. On February 16, SI Swimsuit will stream a live show from the red carpet of the New York City launch party debuting this year's full cast of models.
The VIP event will also feature a DJ performance by Nick Cannon and an array of social integrations. Swimsuit coverage will continue at the first-ever VIBES by SI Swimsuit music, food and culture festival taking place in Houston, Texas, on February 17aEUR'18, featuring live performances by GRAMMY Award winners Diplo and Miguel, a range of panels hosted by 2017 Swimsuit models, food offerings from local and national celebrity chefs and more.
Also, "The Making of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017" will premiere exclusively on DIRECTV NOW on February 15. The 50-minute documentary offers viewers a rare extended glimpse behind the scenes of the creation of the iconic issue. The show, like this issue, celebrates the strength of women--in all forms.
To produce the 53rd edition of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the SI team traveled around the globe to capture some of the world's top models in some of the most beautiful locations. From a private island in Turks & Caicos to the cover model shoot in Fiji to historic Tulum, Mexico, and shoots in Anguilla and Sumba Island, there is no shortage of exotic locales.
See the new covers and Upton's response to the news, here.