“This Is Kind of Historic”: Martha Stewart, 81, Becomes Oldest Person to Grace the Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart — seen here at the 2022 CFDA Awards in New York — says she hopes her appearance on this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue makes other older women "feel that they could also be on the cover." Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Martha Stewart is among the latest models gracing the front of this year’s Sport Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

At 81, the lifestyle mogul, writer and television personality is the oldest cover model in the publication’s history — a title previously held by Maye Musk who appeared on the magazine’s cover last year at the age of 74.

“I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that ‘This is kind of historic, and that I better look really good,’” Stewart says of the shoot in a promotional video for the issue.

The accomplished entrepreneur, who serves up a total of ten looks in the issue, revealed the cover on the Today Show on Monday.

“I like that picture,” she says of the cover, which sees her don a plunging white one-piece paired with a dramatic orange cover-up for a pop of colour.

“I’m sort of shaking,” Stewart adds of her excitement. “It’s odd to go to an island and change into nine different bathing suits in one day in front of all those people. And it turned out okay.”

Before launching into her multifaceted career — which includes founding her lifestyle company, authoring 99 lifestyle books and hosting her Emmy Award-winning television show — Stewart worked a teen model with brands such as Chanel and Unilever.

That familiarity seems to come through in the photos. A peek inside reveals Stewart in all the poses that are standard fare for a swimsuit shoot, from snaps of her emerging from crystal clear water to a variety of shots of her laying on the beach.

The photos were taken by well-known fashion photographer Ruven Afanador in the Dominican Republic on location at the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas.

“Martha Stewart is continuing to make her mark — this time on the cover of the 2023 SI Swimsuit issue,” Sports Illustrated Swimsuit tweeted, along with a photo of Stewart in a black one-piece and black mesh coverup around her waste.

“Reaching more than 100 million fans on a monthly basis through her magazines, television shows, books, and products for the home, she is the ‘go-to’ source for the homemaker,'” the publication adds in their official bio on the newly minted cover star. “Stewart is the OG of influencers.”

Now, with Stewart joining a trio of much younger cover stars in actor Megan Fox, pop singer Kim Petras and model Brooks Nader, she’s hoping her appearance in the new issue will provide a little inspiration for older generations.

“I want other women to feel that they could also be on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated’s new issue,” she says.