Friday, February 17, 2012

Cover Catastrophe

Let's get one thing clear, Sports Illustrated has nothing to do with high fashion. Nevertheless, I will admit to always having had a penchant for SI's annual swimsuit issue. I have collected every swimsuit edition dating back to 1974 (my birth year) and am most fond of the era belonging to swimsuit editor and founder Jule Campbell. Back in the day, Campbell exercised complete autonomy over the issue, from the selection of models, to the bathing suits, sites and photographers. In an interview for SI's 25th Anniversary swimsuit issue in 1989, president of Ford Models Eileen Ford revealed in reference to the lucrative nature of an SI booking that "Everybody's praying Jule will take her. Praying." And for a select few including Paulina Porizkova, Christie Brinkley, Kelly Emberg, Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, Renee Simonsen, Elle MacPherson, Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell, those prayers were answered.

A lot has changed since then but still every year I look forward to the swimsuit issue and spend the weeks leading up to the release date concocting lists of who I think should appear in the issue. This year I stayed up late to witness SI's swimsuit cover reveal on David Letterman and happened to be surfing the net for clues when I stumbled across a leaked photo of Kate Upton on what appeared to be the cover. I happen to like Upton and think that she would indeed be a cover worthy candidate but was convinced that the leaked cover was a hoax because the image that I was confronted with was a complete and utter train-wreck. The image, featuring a heavily airbrushed Upton in an unflattering, awkward pose with her upper anatomy spilling out of a bikini top and bottom, would have been more appropriate on the cover of Hustler magazine.

A few days have passed since the official unveiling of SI's swimsuit issue and I have had some time to digest what is in my opinion the worst cover in SI Swimsuit history. Which is a real shame given that this year's edition has a lot of positives, namely the return of Izabel Goulart, Ariel Meredith, Alyssa Miller, Jessica Gomes, Anne Vyalitsyna, Irina Shayk and the gorgeous Chrissy Teigen. Also equally impressive are the 2012 rookies, in particular the super articulate Crystal Renn, Costa Rican cutie Jessica Perez, and Vanessa Williams look-a-like Kirby Griffin. The issue itself and the online website feature an abundance of beautiful images which would have been so much more cover worthy. Below are some of the highlights of SI 2012, that is if you can bring yourself to look beyond the unfortunate cover featuring Ms Upton.


Cover Debacle - Kate Upton
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Walter Iooss Jr

Izabel Goulart
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari
Source - womenmanagement.blogspot.com

Kirby Griffin
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Derek Kettela
Source - womenmanagement.blogspot.com

Cintia Dicker
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012
Photographer - Derek Kettela
Source - marilynnewyork.blogspot.com

Irina Shayk
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Derek Kettela

Crystal Renn
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Walter Iooss Jr

Anne Vyalitsyna
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari
Source - womenmanagement.blogspot.com

Chrissy Teigen
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari


Ariel Meredith
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Bjorn Iooss

Chrissy Teigen
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari

Ariel Meredith
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Bjorn Iooss

Jessica Perez
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Bjorn Iooss

Jessica Gomes
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Walter Iooss Jr

Irina Shayk
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Derek Kettela

Alyssa Miller
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari

Nina Agdal
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - James Macari

Adaora Akubilo
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
Photographer - Walter Iooss Jr
Unless otherwise stated all images courtesy of si.com

1 comment:

  1. Any cover where the photoshop is the first thing you see is a bad cover. Of all the pictures it boggles my mind they picked that one for the cover. Surely there were better pictures of Kate if they felt they really had to have her on the cover this year. The two opening pictures of Alyssa and Anne would've each been much better covers.

    As for the rest of the issue, it wasn't bad. Didn't realize that Diane Smith had left SI and now MJ Day was in charge. I do love how much MJ loves the issue and the girls. Hopefully there will be more good things in the future.

    As for the features - Zambia - the opening pic of the magazine of Genevieve in the waterfall was spectacular. Although I think she looks a little awkward. Was surprised to see so many pix of Genevieve this year, but most of them were pretty good. Irina was gorgeous. Cintia I think I preferred last year with the longer hair. It's a shame that there were so few pictures of Kirby. Great eyes she has.

    Australia - the first pic of Kate if fantastic. She looks real, golden, and voluptuous. Jessica I think looked better than ever. You can tell her body was toned up doing Dancing with the Stars in Korea. Crystal was a great surprise in the issue. Watching the videos you could tell Walter Iooss really enjoyed shooting her. Adaora - I remember when she was in the SI Model search show back in 2005. I liked her the best back then, but she disappeared early. Wish her jaw was a little stronger, but I hope to see her again. Love the natural hair and long long legs. Michelle I remember checking out on the IMG website and wondering if she'd be an SI girl someday. I hoped for better pix of her - something about these left me wanting more. Not sure what it is.

    Fiji - To me this shoot is where the cover should've come from. The pic you have of Chrissy above is great. Anne and Alyssa had great pix. Julie still has the best body in SI. I think Nina is the strongest rookie this year. Sure she'll be back in the issue again.

    Panama - I admit I still don't get Jessica Perez. Not sure how she won the vote last year, but her pix weren't bad. Izabel looked great. And I am so so happy to have Ariel back this year. Never understood why she disappeared after 2009. She looked great in Panama and Florida.

    I guess all in all it was a pretty good issue. Just wish you didn't have to overlook a horrible cover to discover that.

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