S.I. Celebrates Swimsuit Photos By Walter Iooss (NSFW)

We’re sure that the real purpose of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition isn’t for some sort of fashion commentary. But we need to find some way to get involved in the hype, and what better way to do that than to talk about the bathing suits — both those of the bodypaint and fabric variety. The Swimsuit Edition editorial and cover have the ability to make the career of a model, and boost sales for swim suit designers.

This year’s cover featured model Brooklyn Decker who has been virtually everywhere since the magazine hit newstands. Bar Refaeli, Jessica White, and Hilary Rhoda were also featured in the issue. Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Carolyn Murphy, and Marisa Miller; all huge names in modeling, all Sports Illustrated cover girls.

Now, the editors of Sports Illustrated are bringing Swimsuit fans a 256 page collection of some of the best photographs from Walter Iooss Jr.’s swimsuit photos, spanning the last 47 years. He began his relationship with Sports Illustrated in 1959 at the ripe age of 16 and, since then, has shot over 300 Sports Illustrated covers, 23 of which were for for the swimsuit issue specifically.

Sports Illustrated: HEAVEN, which will hit bookstores on May 11th, is a compilation of Iooss’ 200 favorite and most recognizable images in 16 different locations.

“I have often said that being the photographer on a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is like a little slice of heaven,” said Iooss. “It’s been a great honor to shoot the issue 23 times and take our readers on visual journeys around the world delivering images of some of the most beautiful women and stunning locations this Earth has to offer.”

This book is definitely one to add to your coffee table collection. Some of our favorite shots include Kathy Ireland showing off her fierce eyebrows, Stacey Williams mid-leap in a leopard print one-piece, and Cheryl Tiegs looking brilliantly 80s in a white mesh one-piece with her classic blonde bob.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED HEAVEN by Walter Iooss, Jr. will be on sale May 11, 2010 for $39.95

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