SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day said in a statement that Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders and Olivia Culpo “are inherently unique” but similar in terms of “ambitions, goals and what they stand for"

By Hanna Flanagan
Updated July 13, 2020 03:06 PM
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Yu Tsai

On Monday, Sports Illustrated unveiled the 2020 Swimsuit Issue, starring modeling trio Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders and Olivia Culpo on the cover and featuring a diverse group of 33 models, athletes, entrepreneurs, mothers and more inside the famous magazine (on stands July 21).

Bock, Sanders and Culpo each have an individual cover in addition to the triple shot, snapped by longtime SI Swimsuit photographer Yu Tsai. This marks the first Swimsuit Issue cover for all three models, who are represented by The Society Management New York.

Jasmine Sanders
Yu Tsai
Olivia Culpo
Yu Tsai
Olivia Culpo
Yu Tsai

SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day said in a statement that Bock, Sanders and Culpo "are inherently unique" but similar in terms of "ambitions, goals and what they stand."

Day also touted their individual achievements — Bock advocates for mental health and wellness, Sanders uses her large social media platform to promote social change and Culpo is a successful businesswoman who gives back, most recently starting the fashion line More Than a Mask, with all proceeds going to Feed for America. "These women are limitless, unstoppable and collectively represent the next wave of moguls to come out of the franchise," she added.

Kate Bock
Yu Tsai
Jasmine Sanders
Yu Tsai
Olivia Culpo
Yu Tsai

The news was revealed on Good Morning America Monday morning, where all three women appeared on air to share their reactions to seeing the cover for the first time.

"I was like 'Oh my God! That’s the cover?' So, I initially dropped to the floor. I thought it was crazy,” Sanders told ABC correspondent Erielle Reshef. While Culpo added, "I've wanted this my entire life."

The group also reflected on how much has changed since they shot the cover photos in Bali, Indonesia, earlier this year.

Jasmine Sanders
Yu Tsai

“It’s a time for all of us to just pause and take the time to realize that even with COVID going on [and] with all the protesting going on, we’re able to take that moment in our life to really pause and check on the others in our life that really matter,” Sanders explained on GMA.

Olivia Culpo
Yu Tsai

"When we wrapped our final shoot on March 5, we had no idea of the magnitude of the unprecedented times that lay ahead,” Day said in a statement. "Like many brands we have paused, listened and will continue to evolve and learn. Now more than ever it’s extremely important to feel a part of a community, to rally behind each other and to support those around you who are trying to create impactful change."

Kate Bock
Yu Tsai

SI Swimsuit, which has a long history of challenging the traditional perception of beauty and breaking boundaries in the fashion industry, did exactly that by naming transgender model Valentino Sampaio a 2020 Rookie for the new issue.

"I was filled with so many emotions of happiness when I heard the news. The feeling was surreal," the Brazilian beauty, 23, told PEOPLE exclusively about the moment her agent, Christiana Tran at The Lions Talent Management, broke the good news. "Being in SI Swim has always been on my bucket list of things to achieve in my career. It’s a dream come true on so many levels. SI has been a deeply meaningful achievement. To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity — it is life changing."

Valentina Sampaio
Josie Clough/Sports Illustrated

She called being included in the issue a "major milestone" not only for herself personally, but for the entire LGBTQ+ community.

"As a community, each personal success is a step forward for all. I am very grateful to God and all whom have helped me along my journey so far," she shared. "I honor the challenges of those who have paved the way for me directly or indirectly. They have made where I am today possible. I am committed to keep growing and push boundaries, so that I can in some way, pave the path for others. We are here, we always have been here and we always will be."