Our Interview With Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editors Darcie Baum & MJ Day
MJ Day, Assistant Managing Editor and Darcie Baum, Senior Editor of SI Swimsuit took some time out to chat to us about the production of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. After the release of their 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Issue, they filled us in on their favorite covers, what makes a rookie, and their toughest shoots. These Two women are true inspirations to uplifting beauty and bombshells in the fashion industry and being true fans of SI it’s one of the reason we started GALORE.
What inspired you to want to work with Sport Illustrated Swimsuit?
Darcie Baum: I started at Sports Illustrated working for SI.com, but couldn’t hide the fact that I didn’t know shit about sports. The Swimsuit department was just down the hall from me, and I remember going through our internal photo system and looking through each shoot and being in awe… of the models, the fashion, the locations and travel adventures. Also, I was drawn to the fact that only three women were behind producing such a monstrous franchise. That in itself was inspiring.
What’s your favorite cover of SI from the past 50 years?
MJ Day: I have so many, Tyra’s, Veronica’s, any Christie Brinkley, Kate in Antarctica and obviously this years!
DB: Something keeps drawing me to the first cover – Babette March in 1964. It is the definition of “a moment” that everyone tries to capture. Babette is in this chic yet sexy white leather bikini and it looks like she’s picking her nose, which is hilarious. Her pose is super relaxed and I die for her smile. She’s soaked, but manages to still look like a sun-kissed goddess (and she still does!). She is the epitome of an SI girl – happy, healthy and beautiful.
This season,what shoot was the most exciting?
MJD: Zero-G. Hands down. I am obsessed. It was the most insane, euphoric, exciting, nervewracking experience of my life! So much riding on that shoot with absolutely no guarantee we were going to get anything. James Macari killed it, Kate killed it, the whole team killed it. And bonus we all were weightless doing it. Plus if things don’t work out for us at Swimsuit, Darcie and I have a standing offer from Zero-G to become flight instructors. Yes please!
DB: Hands down Zero-G. Although it’s hard to compete with Antarctica, Zero-G was the best two hours of my life! I can’t put into words the sensation of floating in zero gravity. I was in HYSTERICS the entire time doing barrel rolls and bouncing off of other crew members. When you’re in a state of weightlessness, your spine expands and releases an endorphin rush causing uncontrollable laughter. Apparently my spine tripled in size. I have no idea how Kate kept it together – she’s a freakin’ champion.
What locations did you guys venture into that were more intense than previous years?
MJD: Madagascar was super intense. It’s a beautiful country, but where we were headed electricity, hot water and modern day comforts were not an option. That being said, our girls, Chanel Iman, Irina Shayk, Jess Gomes and Marloes Horst made me so proud when they never even blinked an eye when I told them they would be sleeping in tents and sharing one toilet and cold water shower with 30 people. I admire the adventurous spirit of these women, and am so happy they trust us when we ask them to!
DB: Brazil was tough. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is in the middle of NOWHERE. It took us 1.5-2hrs to get there every day from our hotel via driving, river barge and quads. The “roads” there are actually just sand pits with four foot deep pools that we bounded through in safari jeeps and 4WD trucks. I was sore for a good week after the shoot from the daily beating my body took from that travel! Would I do it again though? Hell yea! That location was so magical. The huge white dunes and fresh water pools were something out of a dream. Being so remote made it even more special.
We are loving the rookies this year. How do you choose the perfect rookie what qualities do you look for?
MJD: I look at every rookie as a future cover model. These women are the future of the magazine and they need to be much more than a pretty face. They are brand ambassadors, they are spokeswomen, so confidence, intelligence and personality are equally important qualities that we look for.
Favorite Swim wear brands for 2014:
DB: MIKOH, Indah, Minimale Animale, Beach Riot, Mara Hoffmann and BASTA SURF are a few of my personal favs. But all the swimwear brands in the issue are innovative and current and fun!
MJD: Darcie nailed it.
How do decide who to pick for the cover with so many bombshells, how can you pick just one?
MJD:When its the 50th Anniversary of the Sports Illustrated issue you don’t! lol
What are 6 Tips for any model wanting to get into the pages of SI?
MJD: I have one tip, and it’s all any model needs to know. Run yourself like a business. Your success is up to you, not a lucky break or anyone else’s opinion of you. Be ambitious, smart, disciplined, kind and confident. Everyone’s path is different, but those that succeed possess these qualities.
What can we expect from the 50th anniversary issue of SI ?
The 50th issue is packed with nods to the past, a whole lot of present day hotness and ambitious projects that only the Swimsuit Issue can pull off!
DB: PURE FIRE. It’s like a modern and sexy timeline celebrating 50 years of Swimsuit – historical and visionary, old favorites and new faces.
A few years back you guys did Beyonce on a cover, would you ever place a celeb on the cover of SI in future issues again?
MJD: Never say never, SI is always evolving.
DB: Who knows! The definition of celebrity is changing by the minute. Would you still consider someone like Kate Upton a model? Or is she a celebrity? The lines are blurred, so anything is possible.