The Evolution of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover, 1964 – Present

The Evolution of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover, 1964 - Present

Including Carol Alt schooling us on the red 1-piece long before Baywatch.


In the wake of this year’s history making Sports Illustrated Swim body diverse cover stars, we went in for a closer look at the evolution of the annual issue’s iconic, and career-making, covers. Here, our top 20 picks from the debut 1964 edition to present, including evidence why Elle MacPherson will be forever known as “the body,” Carol Alt schooling us on the red 1-piece long before Baywatch, and Christie Brinkley proving why we should bring back the french cut bikini bottom. Oh and let’s not forget the iconic turns of Tyra Banks in her own history-making cover or Rebecca Romijn in that epic chainmail 2-piece.

Click any image to launch gallery.

Want more? See all 53 covers here.