5 of the Sexiest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Covers of All Time

Sports Illustrated is currently in the throes of celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic Swimsuit Edition — the magazine just hosted a big bash in New York attended by the likes of Kate Upton and Heidi Klum, among others.  PHOTOS: Tyra Banks Is 40, Doesn't Look It We thought that in honor of the brand’s biggest and most successful franchise, we’d take a look back at the sexiest ladies who’ve graced the cover in the 50 years it’s been heating up bookshelves everywhere. From Tyra Banks in that unforgettable pink-and-red polka-dot string bikini to Upton in what is literally the tiniest bikini yet to be seen by human eyes, the swimsuit edition has long been the foremost authority on beautiful women in skimpy swimwear. And back in 2000, they upped their game even more by debuting a 3-D issue. READ: Kate Upton Fell Terrible 'For a Solid Month' After Sports Illustrated Cover See the 15 sexiest SI Swimsuit Edition covers ever below:

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    Babette March

    The first issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to feature a bikini debuted in 1964. READ: The 5:2 Bikini Diet: Lose Up To 7 Pounds In A Month
    Courtesy of Stylecaster.com.
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    Christie Brinkley

    In 1981, Christie Brinkley shot her third and final cover for the Swimsuit Edition. Fun fact: the one-piece suit she's wearing cost a relatively modest $58 at the time. PHOTOS: The Age-Defying Christie Brinkley
    Courtesy of Stylecaster.com.
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    Tyra Banks

    Tyra's first SI cover in 1996 was so good that the following year, she appeared on it solo. PHOTOS: Tyra Banks Through The Years
    Courtesy of Stylecaster.com.
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    Kate Upton

    Kate Upton made a big splash (pun fully intended) when she showed up out of nowhere on this 2012 cover of the magazine, in what is literally the smallest cut of fabric that could ever be legitimately ordained a bikini. PHOTOS: Kate Upton Through The Years
    Courtesy of Stylecaster.com.
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    Elle Macpherson

    Just a year after this cover debuted in 1988, Elle Macpherson rightfully earned her longtime nickname "The Body" with this Thailand-shot SI cover. PHOTOS: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013
    Courtesy of Stylecaster.com.
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