SI Swimsuit Editor in Chief MJ Day Says She Hopes Women Feel ‘Limitless’

Day reflected on the impact she wants the 60th anniversary issue to have.
Gayle King and MJ Day
Gayle King and MJ Day / Dimitrios Kambouris/Sports Illustrated

For SI Swimsuit’s 60th anniversary, the publication brought back 27 women who have been trailblazers in their own respective industries while having a impact on the franchise. From athletes and actresses to activists and journalists, the 2024 SI Swimsuit Issue highlights the importance of representation and portrays what the past six decades of the brand has looked like.

Editor in chief MJ Day explained her decision to have three covers composed of brand legends, “a triptych that speaks to the collective strength, power, beauty and diversity that is what SI Swimsuit looks like at 60” in addition to the four solo snapshots of Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, Gayle King and Hunter McGrady, in her letter from the editor this year. Her goal was to create an issue that showcased the “revolutionary” past decade of the brand, while also serving as a window into what the future will look like. She expanded upon those thoughts during the magazine’s launch party event earlier this week.

“The 60th [anniversary] was such an important moment for us, because it’s a big milestone ... But [more importantly] we have evolved so much as a brand specifically in the last decade, and it was important for me to really highlight that and celebrate that and try and capture what an important brand we have become and the important conversations that we’re hosting. I really want people to take that away from it,” Day stated while on the red carpet of the May 16 launch party at the Hard Rock Hotel in New York City. “We want [women] to feel seen, we want them to feel heard. We want them to feel limitless. And we don't want anyone, whether it is man or woman, to look at someone else or themselves and think that they can’t do something because of whatever limit that someone has imposed on you at some point in your life, or you’ve thought about, or [what] ‘should’ be the way you do something. I think it’s important to see all these different types of women doing things that maybe wasn’t on their bingo card initially, but doing them and thriving and embracing it and really feeling confident and better after having done it.”

Kate Upton and MJ Day
Kate Upton and MJ Day / Dimitrios Kambouris/Sports Illustrated

Brenna Huckaby, Brooklyn Decker, Brooks Nader, Camille Kostek, Christie Brinkley, Danielle Herrington, Hailey Clauson, Halima Aden, Jasmine Sanders, Kate Love, Leyna Bloom, Lily Aldridge, Martha Stewart, Maye Musk, Megan Rapinoe, Molly Sims, Nina Agdal, Paige Spiranac, Paulina Porizkova, Roshumba Williams, Sue Bird, Tyra Banks and Winnie Harlow, as well as the four solo cover models, gathered in Florida for an iconic weekend with photographer Yu Tsai that resulted in the trio of cover images.

“The legends were specifically chosen because not only are they legendary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit alumni, but they’re legendary in their own right. They stand together and alone for representing all of the important things that they’ve contributed to society, to the conversation,” Day added. “You know, what they mean to themselves, but also what they mean to others. I think when you look at the collective group of legends, every single person can see something of themselves in these women, and that’s the intention. Not to mention they’re all just incredible people.”

Hunter McGrady and MJ Day
Hunter McGrady and MJ Day / Dimitrios Kambouris/Sports Illustrated

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Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL