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Inside the SI Swimsuit 2022 NYC Launch Party: Night One

A big night with an intimate performance.
SI Swimsuit models on stage with Ciara at the 2022 issue launch party.

SI Swimsuit models on stage with Ciara at the 2022 issue launch party.

The 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers are here, and it’s time to celebrate! And boy did we at the New York launch event on May 19, where SI Swimsuit models, staff, influencers, athletes and more came together for a night of fun (and not to mention a Ciara concert).

The event, which took place at the new Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square, began with what Camille Kostek called “a red-hot red carpet.” In fact, the model hosted a live stream of guest arrivals, chatting with everyone from Kate Bock to cover stars Yumi Nu, Ciara and Maye Musk. And, of course, the rookies were there, too. Christen Harper and Katie Austin donned sequin ensembles and did many interviews together. Meanwhile, vets like Hunter McGrady and Marquita Pring showed off their curves and used the opportunity to share a message of body positivity.

Cover model Ciara and husband Russell Wilson share a sweet moment on the red carpet.

Cover model Ciara and husband Russell Wilson share a sweet moment on the red carpet.

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Ross Levinsohn, Ciara, Maye Musk and MJ Day on the red carpet.

Ross Levinsohn, Ciara, Maye Musk and MJ Day on the red carpet.

On the red carpet, there were sweet moments of SI swimsuit models turned best friends like Brooks Nader and Natalie Mariduena sharing a hug and all the women complimenting one another. One of the sweetest moments had to be when Ciara’s husband, Russell Wilson, showed up with a giant bouquet of flowers to congratulate his wife on her SI Swimsuit cover appearance. He was overheard saying he had just hopped off the plane and came straight to the red carpet to deliver the flowers in person. Ciara—who was wearing a black dress with cutouts—was happy with the romantic gesture.

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All of this happened outside the party. Inside, the private event spanned two floors of The Venue on Music Row. It was filled with dazzling models, cocktail servers passing out light bites, and guests in photo booths making a keepsake from the night. But all of the socializing was just a lead up to the main event: a private Ciara concert.

Ciara performing at Night One of the 2022 SI Swimsuit 2022 Launch in New York City.

Ciara performing at Night One of the 2022 SI Swimsuit 2022 Launch in New York City.

The superstar hit the stage, and the party hit the dance floor for an awesome setlist that included some classics like “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” and “Goodies.” You better believe the crowd went wild! 

SI Swimsuit 2022 cover model Yumi Nu with 2021 cover model Leyna Bloom.

SI Swimsuit 2022 cover model Yumi Nu with 2021 cover model Leyna Bloom.

Incredibly, the celebration isn’t over. Next up is another party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. There will be panel discussions and trivia on Saturday, while Sunday will include a workout with Katie Austin and meet-and-greets. Happy launch!

Buy tickets to the Hollywood Launch events here.