February 10, 2009

Bar Refaeli appears on S.I. swimsuit cover

A photo of bikini-clad, Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli graces the cover of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which hit U.S. newsstands Tuesday.

The 2009 Swimsuit Issue is expected to reach a worldwide audience of 66 million, the magazine said.

Refaeli, actor Leonardo DiCaprio's longtime girlfriend and a three-year veteran of the Swimsuit Issue, is the first Israeli model to land the cover of the coveted edition of the publication.

Photographer Raphael Mazzucco, who also photographed the 2008 cover of Marisa Miller, took this year's cover photo during a two-day shoot with Refaeli on Canouan Island in the Grenadines.

This issue brings together all of the elements that make S.I. Swimsuit Issue the most anticipated magazine in the world every year, S.I. Group Editor Terry McDonell said in a statement. The photography is perfect, the locations make you want to go there yourself and the models are full of surprises.