Some famous bathing-suit models include Petra Nemcova, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum and Kate Upton. Tyra Banks modelled swimwear for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues of 1996 and 1997, and she became the first African-American woman to appear on the magazine's cover.
Since 1964, the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has featured photoshoots with a variety of athletes, celebrities and elite models in increasingly revealing swimsuits. Being featured on the magazine's cover has always been thought of as an honor for the chosen models. Supermodel Elle MacPherson made cover appearances in the 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994 and 2006 issues. Christie Brinkley took cover honors in 1979, 1980 and 1981.