Current and Former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Stars Turned Out for 60th Anniversary Party

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue turned 60 this year, but if recent years are any indicator, the franchise’s attitude is that age is just a number.

“They give women of all ages a lot of hope,” said Maye Musk during the issue’s launch party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square on Thursday night. Musk appeared in the issue in 2022 and returned for its 2024 “Legends” cover shoot. “I know the younger models always love it that I’m still modeling at 76. So it gives them hope that they can carry on.” Also: “They make you look fabulous.”

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Lily Aldridge, who first modeled for the 2014 issue, had also earned “Legend” status this year, appearing alongside 22 other notable alumni. “To me it’s all about empowerment and love and joy, and celebrating woman,” she said. “I’m really honored to be part of it.”

Maye Musk and Lily Aldridge at the Sports Illustrated Swim Issue Launch Party held at the Hard Rock Hotel on May 18, 2023 in New York, New York.

Other guests included solo cover stars Brittany Mahomes, Kate Upton, Gayle King, and Hunter McGrady, along with Martha Stewart, Christie Brinkley, Hailey Clauson, Brooks Nader, Jasmine Sanders, Chanel Iman, Molly Sims — among many more of this year’s models.

“Amazon, baby,” said Jena Sims, fielding compliments on her blue bejeweled fish clutch. “It looks like a Judith Lieber, but those are like $10,000 bags,” she added. The model, whose husband is pro golfer Brooks Koepka, is a 2024 rookie. Like many present at the event, Sims applauded the franchise’s current day commitment to inclusivity. “I always wanted to be in the magazine, but ever since the rebrand a couple years ago where it was more body-positive and age-inclusive I was really more drawn to it.”

The biggest surprise from the experience? “I had no idea what photo was going to be in print until I walked myself to the magazine shop and saw it myself,” Sims added.

Rookie Sharina Gutierrez said she was most surprised to discover the issue’s robust support system. “It’s really a sisterhood,” she said. “Every woman supports each other as if they’re sisters forever.”

Speaking to that idea of support, Leyna Bloom shared her words of advice for future rookies. “While you’re having your moment, take time by yourself so you can soak it all in,” she said.

“This brand represents that anything is possible if you just believe in the idea that the world could change,” she added. “This magazine right now is really showcasing so many different bodies and ideas,” Bloom added. “I was telling my friends earlier that this is the perfect time in life to be whoever you want to be, to go after whatever dreams, to not suppress but embrace all parts of you, and see what they all look like.”

Jasmine Sanders and Tyra Banks
Jasmine Sanders and Tyra Banks

Inside the venue, the walls were decked with archival Swimsuit issue covers. Tyra Banks posed for photos with Jasmine Sanders before settling into a quiet booth, while Brittany and Patrick Mahomes held court throughout the evening next to the DJ booth — where they had a prime viewing spot for the surprise performers. Shortly after 9:30, Ja Rule took the stage to perform a few of his top early-2000s club hits, calling on the crowd to sing along.

“Can I get a… Can I get a… Can I get a… ?” Ja Rule prompted the crowd to help him launch into his 1998 hit with Jay-Z, before conceding: “Yeah, they might be too young.”

Legend — not the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit kind, but John — knew the song’s next bar and then some. The singer, along with model wife Teigen, were standing a few feet from the stage and proved enthusiastic participants throughout the evening. Legend received no less than three shout-outs from the next surprise performer, Fat Joe, who also revealed himself as a Chiefs fan. “Patty Mahomes in the building,” said the rapper. “Yo, when they do your roast? I’m in.”

But until then, he turned his attention back to the focus of the evening. “Give me one for the ladies,” he said, cuing up his next track.

Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Mahomes at the Sports Illustrated Swim Issue Launch Party held at the Hard Rock Hotel on May 18, 2023 in New York, New York.
Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Mahomes at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue launch party held at the Hard Rock Hotel on May 16, 2024 in New York.

Launch Gallery: Inside Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2024: Launch Party

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