Ford’s Ashley Graham Makes History Again! As The First Plus-Size Model To Cover Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Its only February, yet again, international Plus Size model sensation Ashley Graham has accomplished another gaming-changing debut. In 2015, Ashley Graham made history when she became the first plus-size model to appear in an ad featured in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Now the following year later, the brunette beauty has scored her very own editorial in one of the highest-crowning achievements in sports entertainment known as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Graham replaces last year’s Sports Illustrated cover models IMG Model Hannah Davis.
Early February, SI released a special introduction video featuring Ashley Graham on set shooting her spread for Sports Illustrated 2016 Swimsuit issue.
In a three-part special collection cover campaign, Graham shares the cover with MMA Superstar Ronda Rousey and Premiere Models Hailey Clauson. All three were on hand for the annual live television revealing of the SI Swimsuit cover model event in New York City, hosted by Nick Cannon and Rebecca Romijn on TNT. Although all three models knew of being the final selections for the 2016 cover, until the point of revelation, all three models were unaware they would be 1/3 of the 2016 cover, a game changing direction by the editors at Sport Illustrated. The variety in covers is to showcase that “Sports Illustrated has always been and will always be about the models; the pictures you see here are a celebration of them.” In the clip below, see the reaction from the three selected models by SI editors out of thousands of submissions as they make history with SI presenting three-solo cover models for the 2016 Sports illustrated Swimsuit edition.
While this is not the first time Sports Illustrated has had multiple models on a cover of the annual swimsuit-edition. This is the first time that the editors have honored three alternate cover models a single separate cover.
Ashley Graham has been modeling for 15 years now. She was discovered at 12-year-old as a size 12 and moved to New York City from Nebraska at 17-year-old to pursue a full-time modeling career. Signing with Ford Models in 2003, Graham is known mostly for her Lane Bryant controversial lingerie Super Bowl commercial back in 2012. Earlier this year, Graham was recognized by Forbes as the first model to make the innovative 30 under 30 class (See: Graham Makes Forbes).
Graham and Sports Illustrated reunited on the beautiful sands in Turks and Caicos. Shot by James Macari, Ashley poses in several different swimsuits and breaks tradition as she discusses straying away from the term Plus-Size. Speaking with Today; she explains, “The term ‘plus-size’ to me has a terrible meaning,” she admitted. “It’s: ‘You’re fat, you’re out of shape, you don’t take care of yourself.’ I really want to get rid of labels. I think that the world would just be a better place without them. After all, curves and imperfections are, as she puts it, the “new beautiful.”
In promotion of Graham gracing the cover, last week SI released a behind-the-scenes interview with the Ford Size 14 model speaking on joining the SI family and how she was selected to be this year’s SI cover model. Watch the exclusive behind the scenes video from the Turks & Caicos SI Swimsuit 2016 shoot, featuring Ashley Graham below:
Sports Illustrated continues to break ground this year, shooting in multiple locations, Zanzibar, Tanzania; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Malta; Tahiti; Dominican Republic; Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Accompanying Graham’s debut, the 2016 class of SI Swimsuit models includes Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, Rose Bertram, Kate Bock, Hailey Clauson, Hannah Davis, Emily DiDonato, Hannah Ferguson, Gigi Hadid, Erin Heatherton, Samantha Hoopes, Chanel Iman, Bo Krsmanovic, Robyn Lawley, Tanya Mityushina, Barbara Palvin, Sofia Resing, Kelly Rohrbach, Irina Shayk, and Chrissy Teigen. Along with being the first Plus-Size model, Graham appears to be the first Ford model to ever grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit-edition.
Capitalizing on the latest accomplishment, Graham’s current contracted brands have released brand new promotions starring the Ford Models as the face of this latest seasonal collections. For Lane Bryant, Ashley poses in black and white while rocking a sexy denim look with a bra top for Bryant’s new This Body campaign. Graham was also previously the face of Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign. Watch the new campaign commercial released by Lane Bryant below starring Ashely Graham.
In support of Sports Illustrated embracing the new ideal of beauty in swimwear. Graham’s other swimwear endorsement Swimsuits For All recently released a new campaign starring Graham yet again known as #SwimSexy. Two weeks ago, in her third campaign with the brand, released a new commercial showing Graham flaunting on the beach in a goregous gold swimsuit. Watch the commercial below also featuring models Nicola Griffin and Philomena Kwao.
Graham is currently in the race for Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year campaign. In the race with Graham is IMG’s Ashley Graham, Elite/IMG’s Tanya Mityushina, Storm London’s Sofia Resing, and Bojana “Bo” Krsmanovic. Voting for the Sports Illustrated 2016 Rookie of the Year is still underway, visit Sports Illustrated today to cast your vote for your favorite Swimsuit Rookie.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is available on newsstands worldwide now.
- Ashley Graham
- James Macari
- Lane Bryant
- Plus Size
- SI Swimsuit
- SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie
- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie 2016