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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

The camera still loves Martha Stewart

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

Cooking. Gardening. Decorating. Hosting. Baking.

Now add to her long list of talents, swimsuit modeling.

Globally renowned stockbroker and savvy businesswoman Martha Stewart has made the cover of the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It has to be said the camera still loves the 81-year-old mother and grandmother who was revealed this week by the organization as the oldest cover model in the publication’s history.

Stewart is certainly a box of chocolates or should I say petit fours? This woman remains unshaken. Past the scandal, fast-forward her prison sentence, Martha Stewart always comes back stronger. With a plan. Brilliant, and clearly organized, she never ceases to amaze millions of followers she has all over the world. She is never out of options or hobbies, not even behind bars, and certainly not in her golden years. You may love her or hate her, but you have got to give it to the woman, she hasn’t lost her Midas touch, and looks fantastic. Plus, entertaining is in her blood. You will never be bored with a bestie like Martha.

She’s the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a best-selling author (of 99 lifestyle books and counting) and an Emmy Award–winning television show host. And although she is making headlines this week for posing in glamorous swimsuits, modeling is not really new to her. Long before she became a household name and a lifestyle guru, a young Stewart worked as a model. She appeared in television commercials, print editorials and even starred in advertising campaigns for luxury brands such as Chanel and Unilever brands.

The photoshoot, the fashions

The photoshoot for Sports Illustrated took place in early January in the Dominican Republic. Martha Stewart was photographed by Colombian-born Ruven Afanador, a longtime contributor to Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle and The New York Times. Stewart modeled one-piece swimsuits by labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, Body Glove, Norma Kamali, Zimmermann, Monday Swimwear, Anemos, Isa Boulder and Eres. Among the designers who provided sunglasses, cover-ups, jewelry and other accessories are Gucci, Valentino, Anita Ko, Eric Javits, Cicada, Moda Operandi, Torso Creations, Alix Pinho and Jacob & Co.

Inspirational, in her own words

Stewart wrote in her IG account that she is thrilled to be on the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue: “When you are through changing, you’re through, so I thought, why not be up for this opportunity of a lifetime? I hope this cover inspires you to try new things, no matter what stage of life you are in. Changing, evolving, and being fearless -- those are all very good things, indeed. Don’t be afraid of anything.”

From the Jersey shore with a vision

The girl from Jersey City rose to fame in the 1980s when she began writing cookbooks after her success as a chef. Since those first cookbooks, Stewart is now the best-selling author of 99 books over the course of her career. She launched her fabulous magazine, Martha Stewart Living, in 1990.

Throughout her magazines, books, television shows and other media outlets, she reaches approximately 100 million fans each month, according to Sports Illustrated.

Stewart currently hosts three programs on Roku: “Martha Gardens,” “Martha Cooks” and “Martha Holidays.” She also moderates “The Martha Stewart Podcast,” where she interviews business leaders and friends. She opened her first restaurant in August 2022: The Bedford by Martha Stewart, which is located at Paris Las Vegas. The 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue will be on newsstands May 18.

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