Q&A With SI Swimsuit Legend Lily Aldridge

The 2014 cover model returns to the fold the 60th anniversary issue.
Lily Aldridge was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Vivienne Westwood. Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jewelry by Ettika.
Lily Aldridge was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Vivienne Westwood. Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jewelry by Ettika. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Turning 60 has never looked so good. To celebrate the big milestone in style, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit called upon 27 “Legends”—women of all ages, sizes, tribes and backgrounds—who epitomize trailblazing influence and game-changing impact. 

From supermodel OGs who made their first splash on the magazine’s glossy pages in the 1970s and ’80s to stars newer to the SI Swimsuit sisterhood—the Legends symbolize diversity, inclusivity, empowerment and self-love.  

“The Legends hold the power to represent the collective us,” SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day says. “Each one has played a significant role in the brand’s last 10 years, holding important conversations that have helped shift societal perceptions and led to incredible change for women.” 

The Legends had plenty to say in their one-on-one interviews, held during a three-day SI Swimsuit event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., where photo shoots for the 60th anniversary issue were underway amidst a flurry of glam teams, wardrobe stylists and veteran fashion lensmen. The Legends were unfiltered, funny, wise, compassionate, profound, and at times, searingly honest—proving that a woman’s inner beauty is her most important superpower of all.   

See more from the Legends photo shoot here.

Lily Aldridge joined the SI Swimsuit family a decade ago, when she landed the cover of the 50th anniversary magazine alongside fellow brand legends Nina Agdal and Chrissy Teigen. After her rookie year, she returned to the fold the following two years. The 60th anniversary issue marks her fourth appearance in the annual magazine.

What does being an SI Swimsuit Legend mean to you?

“It means so much to me. Growing up, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit was such an iconic magazine. So many of the women who graced the cover are inspirations to me and still are. To be following in their footsteps and be considered a Legend for this incredible brand is a huge honor.”

Describe yourself in three words.

“Lover of life.”

Lily Aldridge
Lily Aldridge was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Vivienne Westwood. Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jewelry by Ettika. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

View Lily Aldridge’s 2024 Legends photo gallery here.

What do you love most about being a woman?

“I love everything about being a woman. It’s such a wonderful, empowering thing to be a woman. There are so many beautiful facets of it, and the evolution of womanhood is beautiful.”

What do you love most about being yourself?

“Just how genuine I am. I feel like I’m very open to people and very genuine, and I appreciate that about my personality.”

Lily Aldridge
Lily Aldridge was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Vivienne Westwood. Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jewelry by Ettika. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

What can women do to better empower each other?

“What Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is doing, what MJ [Day, editor in chief] is doing, what she is pioneering in terms of elevating women and women’s stories, and inclusion, is so important. Being an incredible example of what it means to empower others and letting people have their platforms is crucial. And she’s just so wonderful at doing that.

“I feel grateful to be part of this women’s group that is all about empowering each other, lifting each other up, cheerleading each other—all of that is so important. The women who are a part of this Legends shoot really do that for each other and I'm proud to be a part of it.”

What are you most excited about in your life right now?

“I’m excited about my growth as a human. I’ve been on this journey of evolution, opening doors for myself, and challenging myself in new ways without setting limits. It’s an important part of growing, and that’s the era I’m in—opening all the doors and expanding myself in multiple ways.”




Published
Tara Solomon

TARA SOLOMON