Q&A With SI Swimsuit Legend Maye Musk

The 2022 cover model returns to the annual issue with poise.
Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Naeem Khan. Shoes by Aquazzura. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson.
Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Naeem Khan. Shoes by Aquazzura. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson. / 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.

When she landed the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue in 2022, Maye Musk became the oldest cover model in the brand’s history. And while Martha Stewart claimed the title the following year, Musk remains a legend in every sense of the word.

What does being an SI Swimsuit Legend mean to you?

“It was a big surprise. My daughter was with me at the time, and I said, ‘They want me to do a swimsuit shoot in Belize.’ So she says, ‘Belize is great.’ So I said, ‘O.K., I'll do it.’ I wasn't really a swimsuit model, but they made me look like one. They make you feel comfortable. 

“I've been modeling for over 50 years—I’m 75. But I did have a break to have three kids. The first time you walk out in your swimsuit, it will be this whole, ‘Fabulous, fabulous. Oh, you look lovely.’ After that, you can walk out in any swimsuit tapered on you. They are just so kind and complimentary. And you just say, 'Well, it is what it is.’”

Maye Musk
Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Naeem Khan. Shoes by Aquazzura. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson. / Yu Tsai /Sports Illustrated

View Maye Musk’s 2024 Legends photo gallery here.

Three words you would use to describe yourself.

“Hardworking, honest, fun.”

What do you love most about being a woman?

“I love being a woman. I am appreciated most of the time. Now, of course, as you get older, you don’t mix with people who don’t appreciate you. What’s nice about being a woman? Well, I had three wonderful children, and that’s really special. I spent a lot of time with them, so that’s a great joy.”

Maye Musk
Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Naeem Khan. Shoes by Aquazzura. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson. / Yu Tsai /Sports Illustrated

What do you love most about yourself?

“I’m well educated. I’m a doctor of dietetics. My recent book is a bestseller worldwide; it’s in 32 languages and in over 100 countries; it’s called A Woman Makes a Plan. I never expected that. So that was quite something.”

What is most exciting about your life right now?

“I’ve just come back from Uzbekistan where I gave a talk at a medical university, it was mainly about my book. Then I was in Shanghai for two modeling jobs. We came here yesterday.”


Published
Tara Solomon

TARA SOLOMON