slides: Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issues: The Rhode Island Connections
Thursday, February 20, 2014
To see more on how Sports Illustrated is commemorating their 50th, visit the Swimsuit Issue's website here.
Related Slideshow: Rhode Island and SI Swimsuit History
Kim Alexis' Sports Illustrated shots made her famous, but it is a little known fact that she was also accepted to the five-year pharmacy program at University of Rhode Island. To the delight of Sports Illustrated readers everywhere, Alexis was convinced to be a professional model before her career as a Ram got off the ground. Nevertheless, Rhode Islanders must wonder what might have been.
Heidi Klum, maybe THE most famous Sports Illustrated alum, has made her post-modeling fortune from endorsement and design. One of her products is the "Rhode Island" collection of swimwear. One is hard pressed to imagine a better tribute to a state than to have Heidi Klum create a bikini bearing its namesake. You can see more of the collection here.
Bjorn Iooss is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and did many swimsuit pics, including the 2011 cover. Its a case of like father, like son -- his father Walter is also an accomplished Sports Illustrated photographer. In a profile of Bjorn in the New York Times Style Magazine, Bjorn reflected on his career with Sports Illustrated: "To be in this position is a little bit out of my comfort zone. Doing swimsuit photos was probably the last thing in the world they would have expected me to be doing at R.I.S.D.”
Sports Illustrated model Kathy Ireland has parlayed her fame as a model into a designed empire with more than $2 billion in annual sales, partially thanks to Providence College alum and collaborator Nicholas Walker. Walker is also a former soap opera leading man (notably of "One Life to Live") and oversees Jardin, Ireland's line of stylish products with a focus on the outdoors. See more on Ireland's website, here.
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