Martha Stewart lives by two mottos: “When you’re through changing, you’re through” and “Learn something new every day.” Stewart, who worked as a model as a teenager, has built a lifestyle empire as the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia—she reaches more than 100 million fans monthly and has written nearly 100 books. The 81-year-old clearly swears by her mantras and did not shy away from tackling a new challenge head on: posing for the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue and becoming the brand’s oldest cover model in history.
“When I heard that I was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, I thought, Oh, that’s pretty good, I’m going to be the oldest person I think ever on a cover of Sports Illustrated,” Stewart casually admits. “And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic.”
Stewart says she was motivated to participate in the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue to demonstrate that women can look good and feel great at any age. “Age is not the determining factor in terms of friendship or in terms of success, but what people do, how people think, how people act, that’s what’s important and not your age,” she says.
Stewart traveled to the Dominican Republic for her photo shoot, where she worked with photographer Ruven Afanador, whom the Emmy Award–winning TV show host calls “so much fun” to work with.
While on location at the beautiful Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, Stewart donned 10 swimwear looks, including a plunging, red, halter swimsuit, a tan one-piece paired with an oversized beach hat, and a sporty metallic black-and-silver zip-up suit.
“Never in her life has [Martha] let her circumstances dictate her outcome,” says editor in chief, MJ Day. “She’s changed with the times—always one step ahead, it seems—to build a wide-reaching business empire.”
This year, Stewart joins three other women—actress Megan Fox, Grammy Award–winning artist Kim Petras and five-time SI Swimsuit model Brooks Nader—who were each honored with their own 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue covers.