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Sports Illustrated kicks off swimsuit issue with inclusive runway show

The runway included Jasmine Sanders, Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader, Katrina Scott and Kathy Jacobs.
Credit: magdal3na - stock.adobe.com

WASHINGTON — Before releasing its famous swimsuit issue, Sports Illustrated held an inclusive runway show at South Beach’s Mondrian Hotel on Saturday.

The runway included Jasmine Sanders, Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader, Katrina Scott and Kathy Jacobs, as well as several SI Swim Search finalists. This year the finalists include athletes, models, entrepreneurs, students, moms and more. 

"Its annual Miami runway show which collectively rounds out this remarkable group of authentic and aspirational women has become the go-to show during swim week in Miami," Sports Illustrated said in a statement to Fox News.

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is expected to be available on July 19.

In recent years, Sports Illustrated has tried to break its cycle of only including tall, thin supermodels in its swimsuit edition. Last year, model Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender woman to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. In 2016, Ashley Graham was the first plus-sized model to grace the cover.

"The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise is all about empowerment and is a platform championing diversity, inclusion and positive change," the company said in a statement. "As our audience evolves, as the conversation around beauty, size, race and gender change, we are working even harder to celebrate unique beauty and draw awareness to inspiring stories that might otherwise go untold."

In June, Sports Illustrated started branching out into the sports and entertainment ticket marketplace. Authentic Brand Groups, which manages the Sports Illustrated brand, has announced it is teaming up with Venmo to launch SI Tix. 

The new ticket reseller site comes at a time when more venues are going to full capacity and easing COVID-19 health restrictions.

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