Unforgettable Moments of 2023: A Highlight Reel to Remember

As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to appreciate the moments that defined this exceptional year. Our trailblazing community has broken records this year and the Swimfluence community witnessed the formation of new friendships and the accomplishment of both personal and professional goals. Looking forward, the anticipation for exciting possibilities in the future is palpable. Let’s take a look back and appreciate some of the moments that made our highlight reel.

Martha Stewart’s historic cover 

Martha Stewart poses in a white one-piece and an orange cape.

Entrepreneur and best-selling author Martha Stewart returned to her modeling roots as one of four SI Swimsuit cover stars this year at the age of 81. The feature set a record for the oldest woman on the cover of an SI Swimsuit Issue. The mogul lives by two mottos: “When you’re through changing, you’re through” and “learn something new every day.”

Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne paved the way for NIL athletes 


The rules for NCAA athletes, allowing them to sign name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, have opened doors for a new wave of college athletes. Reese and Dunne are paving the way for female athletes behind them, and we couldn’t have been more honored to feature them in the 2023 issue. 

The SI Swimsuit female empowerment tour took over Big 12 Colleges 


SI Swimsuit, in collaboration with Big 12 and Maybelline, brought a "Be the Best You" tour to the four new colleges welcomed into the Big 12 in 2023. This interactive tour encouraged young women to take charge of their mental health through panel discussions and various branded activations. SI Swimsuit made stops at University of Central Florida, University of Houston, Brigham Young University and the University of Cincinnati. 

Grammy winner Kim Petras graced the cover of the 2023 issue 


Kim Petras, the first openly transgender woman to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, graced the cover of the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue.

“My biggest strength is that I know who I am, and I can push s--- for other people,” the 30-year-old said—and that includes being in the SI Swimsuit Issue. “I feel proud and happy. It means being accepted by people, and that’s f---ing beautiful.”

Brooks Nader’s momentous Swimsuit cover


Brooks Nader has been part of the SI Swimsuit family since being discovered as part of the brand’s Swim Search program in 2019. After winning the open casting call competition, she’s returned to the magazine each year since. Her journey with SI Swimsuit has taken her everywhere from the Bahamas to Bali to Montenegro, making her 2023 cover moment especially meaningful for the brand.

SI Swimsuit legends walked the Swim Week runway


SI Swimsuit veterans Roshumba Williams, Samantha Hoopes, Carol Alt, Elsa Benitez and Vendela Kirsebom walked the SI Swim Week runway showcasing their legendary legacies. The women wore custom looks with empowering verbiage as they closed out the 30-minute runway show at the W Hotel South Beach in July.

SI Swimsuit models made statements on the Swim Week runway

John Parra/Getty Images

Several models walked the catwalk wearing custom looks designed with verbiage and phrases that they chose to print on T-shirts, swimsuits and even bags and hats. Sixtine, a 2023 rookie, walked the runway in a cropped top that read, “My Body Is Not a Trend” in bold letters across her chest, while Hoopes wore a shirt that read, “Do my nipples offend you?”

Lauren Chan came out with SI Swimsuit 

Lauren Chan

Lauren Chan, a 2023 rookie, shared her journey of self-discovery and a new chapter in her life through her SI Swimsuit announcement. In her self-penned essay, “How I Came Out, Got Divorced, and Landed In SI Swimsuit,” Chan got vulnerable about how she found herself and began cultivating a new fulfilling chapter in her life. Chan explained, “The moral of the story is that creating your most fulfilling life starts with getting to know your truest self.”

Nicole Williams English took us along on her daughter’s first year of life

Nicole Williams English

The 2023 Rookie of the Year shared her journey into motherhood, from her pregnancy reveal on the Miami Swim Week runway in July 2022 to an incredibly full-circle moment walking that very same runway with her newborn daughter, India Moon, in the summer of 2023. And let’s not forget that Williams English also posed for the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue in the Caribbean at seven months pregnant, in an ethereal, mermaid-inspired photoshoot.

Sarafina El-Badry Nance made strides for women in STEM

Sarafina El-Badry Nance

Nance, who was a 2022 Swim Search finalist, hopes to be a leading example of how women really can have it all. This year, Nance released her memoir, Starstruck: A Memoir of Astrophysics and Finding Light in the Dark. Nance uses her voice and her online platforms to break down barriers in order to make science more approachable and accessible.

SI Swimsuit named seven winners of the 2023 Swim Search

2023 Swim Search final seven

In an unprecedented move, the brand named seven co-winners of the open casting call, who will all be featured as rookies in the 2024 issue. The Swim Search is an annual open casting call that allows aspiring and established models to connect with the SI Swimsuit team in the hopes of being featured in the magazine. It has produced a number of talented women who have gone on to do incredible things with the brand. In years past, a maximum of two women have been chosen as winners, but this year, all seven finalists will be rookies in the 60th anniversary issue next May.

SI Staff