The 40th anniversary Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit issue hit newsstands in February, featuring some of the upcoming season's hottest swim apparel GÇö and in turn, swim apparel companies.
Having styles selected to be featured in SI's annual swimsuit issue is akin to winning the lottery for many swim apparel firms. Not only is it a great honor, it's also some of the best marketing available as the issue is reported to be the most widely read single edition of any magazine worldwide, according to SI.
This year, more than 40 apparel firms are represented in the issue, including many household names such as Speedo, Quiksilver and Calvin Klein. Higher-priced labels such as Eres, La Perla, Jean Paul Gaultier Femme Soleil, Karla Colletto, OMO Norma Kamali and Moschino Mare also made the cut. Czech model Veronica Varekova graces the cover wearing (or not wearing) a Moschino suit.
Of those featured, many firms are swimsuit issue veterans, and they say the exposure is invaluable. Ritchie Swimwear first appeared in the pages of the issue in 1999. "This is the fifth consecutive year that we have been featured in SI's swimsuit edition," notes Michael Berger, president, Ritchie Swimwear. "The exposure of our brand from appearing in SI is great. Since SI came out, we have seen a significant increase in orders for the 'Pamela' bikini that was featured, especially in our mail order/Internet department. We have also seen a corresponding increase in traffic at our Web site," he adds.
Appearing for the first time this year is swimwear firm Luli Fama. "Being the first season on the market and being featured in Sports Illustrated for the first time was a great combination," notes Lourdes Hanimian, designer, Luli Fama. The company was featured in the issue with two suits, including one on the cover modeled by tennis phenom Anna Kournikova. "The exposure is amazing. It is almost like receiving an Oscar. It is what we work hard for and wish that happens each year," she concludes.