Sports Illustrated 2018 Swimsuit Issue: Danielle Herrington on the cover, plus new promotions

February 13, 2018

Danielle Herrington on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2018 Swimsuit Issue (Photro by Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated)
Danielle Herrington on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2018 Swimsuit Issue (Photo by Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated)

The following is a press release from Sports Illustrated:

Newcomer Danielle Herrington claims the coveted cover of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. The cover was revealed first on and the brand’s social platforms via a video featuring former SI Swimsuit cover model Tyra Banks sharing the news with a surprised and emotional Herrington. Herrington, a Rookie in 2017’s SI Swimsuit issue, shot her 2018 photos in the Bahamas with photographer Ben Watts. SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day, who marks her sixth year as editor and 21st year working at the brand, considers all photos from all the models for the cover. SI Swimsuit 2018 hits newsstands on Wednesday, February 14.

The 55th installment of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue features a diverse cast of 36 models including: 4 returning cover models, 5 world-famous athletes, 5 mothers, 4 published authors, 12 rookies, 6 model search contestants and 10 women who are featured in the new section, “In Her Own Words.” The full list of SI Swimsuit 2018 models is below.

SI Swimsuit 2018 spotlights beauty in its many different forms while providing a platform for the voices and messages of the bold, diverse, inspiring and stunning women featured throughout the issue. This comes to life in different ways and across mediums, from first-person essays written by a collection of models, to emotional short-form videos, to full-length documentary-style features.

MJ Day, editor of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said, “As a 20 year veteran of this iconic brand – the past six as editor – I am constantly inspired by the incredible women I get to work with annually. Their brilliance, their drive, their successes, their strength are something to celebrate and emulate. We feature models who are scientists, CEOs, Olympians, activists, moms, influencers, show hosts and more—and not one of them failed to achieve her goals because she chose to look sexy and wear a bikini. It is time to move past the incorrect assumption that ‘sexy and empowered’ do not go together.”

Day continued, “This year we are so proud to elevate Danielle Herrington’s profile. She is a fresh face, beautiful inside and out, and a hard-working, grounded woman who will be a beacon to many younger girls who can see themselves in her.”

“Two of my role models are Tyra Banks and Beyoncé, so the fact that I get to join this incredible group of women as I become the third black model on the cover of SI Swimsuit is a dream come true,” said Danielle Herrington, 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model. “I am so excited to be part of this iconic brand that has long given identity and voice to women of all shapes, colors and beliefs. I hope that young girls who look at this cover are inspired to dream as big as I did and work hard to attain all their goals.”

This year’s issue marks several “firsts” for SI Swimsuit:

  • “In Her Own Words” – The “In Her Own Words” project, which debuts in 2018, was conceived to deliver a message of empowerment, beauty, confidence and self-acceptance. Featuring models painted in words they chose, this platform allowed the voice, the strength and the passion of these women to be expressed in the rawest form: on the naked body. With a stripped-down studio and an all-female crew, SI gave full creative control to the women as they became their own canvas. Models and activists such as Aly Raisman and Paulina Porizkova participated in the project. Sailor Brinkley Cook, a photography student at Parsons School of Design, and Robyn Lawley, an aspiring videographer, joined the crew, taking behind-the-scenes photos and capturing video of the intimate shoot.
  • Sports Illustrated TV’s Exclusive SI Swimsuit Shows:Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV), which launched in November, will exclusively air three new original Sports Illustrated Swimsuit specials:

“In Her Own Words” – A step in the evolution of the essence of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, “In Her Own Words” is a new section that showcases the voice, the strength and the passion of women expressed in the rawest form—on the naked body. They called the creative shots, chose the words for their bodies and picked their poses to illuminate what’s most meaningful to them (available 2/13).

“Making of SI Swimsuit 2018” – Go behind the scenes with the creators of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit as they return to the Caribbean and introduce a new wave of sexy, confident women to this iconic franchise (available 2/14).

“#SISwimSearch The journey to find the next SI Swimsuit star” – For the first time ever, Sports Illustrated put out the call asking a simple question: Why should you be our next star? Follow the journey as thousands of social media entries became six Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search finalists, each hoping to be the one chosen as the winner of SI’s first-ever #SISwimSearch (available 2/15).

  • SI Swimsuit’s Most Immersive Experience Ever: Through augmented and virtual reality, the 2018 SI Swimsuit issue is the most immersive issue ever. The suite of content includes a behind-the-scenes VR (virtual reality) experience as well as exclusive AR (augmented reality) experiences—from a groundbreaking 3D hologram of this year’s cover model to portals that let you actually walk onto the set of a SI Swimsuit shoot and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos that launch off the pages of the issue. SI teamed up with envrmnt to produce the AR features. All of the immersive content is available in the LIFE VR mobile app for iOS and Android; the VR experience will also be made available in LIFE VR’s Samsung VR channel and in the LIFE VR Windows MR app.SI also designed and built a custom “World Lens” and “Face Lens,” available for use exclusively on Snapchat. The Lens experiences use augmented reality, allowing users to place themselves on the Swimsuit cover via a snapcode. Snapchat and SI have collaborated on the launch of SI Swimsuit since 2016, bringing users behind-the-scenes access to the franchise and its stars. In partnership with Trigger, the Mixed Reality Agency, SI leveraged Snap’s recently released Lens Studio desktop developer tool to bring this year’s AR experience for Snapchat to life.
  • SI Swim and Active: The launch of SI Swim and Active, SI Swimsuit’s first-ever apparel collaboration with RAJ Swim, coincides with the launch of the 2018 issue, which features shoppable looks both on and within the issue. was also redesigned to include an e-commerce section,
  • #SISwimSearch Open Casting Call: SI Swimsuit hosted its first-ever open to the public casting call earlier this year via an Instagram competition that received more than 5,000 submissions. The final six are featured in the issue as the 2018 SI Swimsuit Model Search group.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 features a diverse array of 36 models, including Compton, CA native and cover model Danielle Herrington and 2018 Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren. The full SI Swimsuit 2018 cast is: Alexis Ren, Allie Ayers, Aly Raisman, Anne de Paula, Ashley Graham, Barbara Palvin, Bianca Balti, Brenna Huckaby, Camille Kostek, Chase Carter, Danielle Herrington, Ebonee Davis, Genie Bouchard, Georgia Gibbs, Hailey Clauson, Haley Kalil, Hunter McGrady, Iyonna Fairbanks, Jasmyn Wilkins, Kate Bock, Kate Upton, Kate Wasley, Lais Ribeiro, Myla Dalbesio, Olivia Culpo, Olivia Jordan, Paige Spiranac, Paulina Porizkova, Raven Lyn, Robin Holzken, Robyn Lawley, Sailor Brinkley Cook, Samantha Hoopes, Sloane Stephens, Tabria Majors and Vita Sidorkina.

Every on-location shoot of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue took place in the Caribbean, the brand’s most frequent destination and the backdrop for more than 40 photo shoots and 20 cover images, including the 2018 cover. The Caribbean locations shot in 2018 were the Bahamas, Aruba, Belize and Nevis. In honor of that history, SI Swimsuit will continue to support hurricane relief efforts in the region and has already committed to visit Puerto Rico for the 2019 issue.

Official sponsors for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 include Kia Stinger and Stoli.


SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Swimsuit ( reaches more than 70 million US adults annually and more men ages 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. The iconic brand spans 16 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. 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.


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