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The time has finally come. Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Maye Musk and Yumi Nu are your 2022 SI Swimsuit cover models. The four groundbreaking women were photographed separately in locations worldwide, from Dominican Republic to Barbados to Belize and Montenegro, with models as diverse in their stories as the locations they were photographed.
“The journey we’ve been on—to break out of the mold the world put us in—may sound familiar,” says SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day. “It’s certainly familiar to the women we’ve chosen to be our cover models: Maye, Ciara, Yumi, Kim.”
Kardashian has appeared on countless magazine covers and has had many internet-breaking moments throughout her career. But this is the first SI Swimsuit appearance for the reality star turned billionaire entrepreneur. The opportunity is fitting, considering Kardashian has recently made a massive splash the fashion industry with her SKIMS shapewear line that features curve-loving swimsuits.
Beyond her business success, the 41-year-old uses her prominence and 310-million-strong Instagram platform to raise awareness for important causes. She’s lobbied lawmakers—including the president—for prison reform, successfully getting clemency for wrongfully convicted inmates. Her involvement in this cause compelled her to pursue her law degree. She is currently completing a four-year law apprenticeship. The pop culture icon is no doubt a force to be reckoned with.
“Kim, no stranger to the world’s judgment, continues to live proudly, authentically and unapologetically through the noise,” says Day.
Ciara is a megaforce in the music scene. In 2004 she achieved instant success with her debut album, Goodies. The singer scored four Grammy Award nominations two years later and has since released six more albums and sold more than 23 million records worldwide. The entertainer—who was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in ’08—has branched outside of the music industry, with movie and TV appearances, modeling, a production deal with Amazon Studios and a fashion line, The House of LR&C. The mom of three has also written a children’s book with her husband, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. In ’14, the couple founded the Why Not You Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to combating poverty through education and empowering youth to lead.
“Ciara has seen enormous success as a performer while simultaneously focusing on her passion for philanthropy and service,” notes Day.
Maye Musk began her modeling career more than 50 years ago and continues to break ageist boundaries today with appearances on magazine covers and in campaigns in her 70s. In fact, Musk became CoverGirl’s oldest spokesmodel at age 69. But that’s just one of the many accomplishments the 74-year-old has on her résumé. Musk holds two master’s degrees and penned a memoir, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success, about her extraordinary life.
All of Musk’s success certainly didn’t happen overnight. In her book, she details the struggles of raising three children—including billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk—as a single mom. She even had to work five jobs at once to make ends meet.
“At 74, Maye continues to work every day to inspire those around her,” says Day.
And Yumi Nu proves she’s in a category of her own making. The Japanese and Dutch recording artist—who made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2021—was writing songs by age 15 and was signed by record label Dim Mak when she was 21. Her debut album, Hajime, is scheduled to be released later this month.
“In her first year of being in the spotlight, Yumi is coming into who she is and taking on the responsibility of what she stands for,” says Day.
In addition to this year’s powerhouse cover models, the SI Swimsuit 2022 issue features ’21 Rookie of the Year Katrina Scott, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant, and veteran model Kate Bock, who marks a decade of appearances in the issue.
Day added, “We all deserve the chance to evolve. So in this issue, we encourage readers to see these models as we see them: multifaceted, multitalented—and sexy while they’re at it. The world may label them one way, but we want to focus our lens on all the ways they see themselves and how they own who they are. No matter your age, whether you’re a new mom, partner, sister, entertainer, athlete, entrepreneur, advocate, student, mentor, role model, leader or dreamer—or all of the above—we want to celebrate these women, their evolution and the many dimensions of who they are.”