No other 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model raised as much attention as Ashley Graham.
Ashley Graham hit the big times with a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. Ashley Graham is featured in the 2016 Swimsuit edition for the first time. She is a so called SI Swimsuit rookie. In her first appearance she already made the cover of the popular special edition of Sports Illustrated.
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The plus-sized model has raised by far the most media and social media attention of all 2016 Sports Illustrated models. The social shares are about a factor of 10 higher than for Hailey Clauson and that of Ronda Rousey. Both are featured on individual covers of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
28-year-old Ashley Graham was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was discovered at a mall at the age of 12. Graham has been modeling since 2001. The model already appeared in last year's Swimsuit edition in an advertisement from the swimsuit label "Swimsuits For All."
Ashley Graham is a symbol of change for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition that has a 52 year history. The social media attention is confirming that Sports Illustrated did the right thing in honoring Ashley Graham with a cover. A stronger statement would have been to only give Ashley Graham the cover.
The three covers are a first in the history of the swimsuit issue, but could also be seen as playing it safe.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2016 has been launched today in newsstands and online. It remains to be seen if any of the featured models can still topple Ashley Graham from the social media throne.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models include besides the cover models Hailey Clauson, Ashley Graham and Ronda Rousey, Nina Agdal, Chanel Iman, Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Ferguson, Lily Aldridge, Erin Heatherton, Hannah Davis, Irina Shayk, Bo Krsmanovic, Barbara Palvin, Kelly Rohrbach, Samantha Hoopes, Tanya Mityushina, Rose Bertram, Emily Didonato, Robyn Lawley, Sofia Resing, Kate Bock, Caroline Wozniacki and Lindsay Vonn.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2016 is released online and in Newsstands on Monday Feb. 15. For the first time in the 52 year long history of the swimsuit issue there are three individual covers. Ashley Graham, Hailey Clauson and Ronda Rousey are on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2016.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookies are Ashley Graham, Bo Krsmanovic, Barbara Palvin, Tanya Mityushina and Sofia Resing.
This year's athletes are featured only wearing body paint. Besides Ronda Rousey, the 2016 Swimsuit edition also stars Lindsay Vonn and Caroline Wozniacki only wearing body paint.
We have picked our top 10 photos of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
There is also a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 app to enjoy the content on the iPhone or Android smartphones. New this year is a Virtual Reality video featuring three of the Swimsuit models.
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.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is 52nd. The 53rd Swimsuit edition is already in the works. The first models for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2017 are getting picked.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise reaches more than 70 million US adults annually and more men 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. 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.
SI Swimsuit is part of Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Other Time Inc. brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.
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Social media statistics data derived from Buzzsumo.