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EXCLUSIVE: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Bikini Designer Dishes!

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Bjorn Iooss/Sports Illustrated

Model Irina Shayk may have wept when David Letterman unveiled her Sports Illustrated cover yesterday, but she wasn’t the only one surprised: Simon Southwood, co-owner and designer of Sauvage swimwear, was also shocked to learn one of his bikinis was front and center on the bestselling issue. “I couldn’t sleep because of this!” he exclaimed. “It was just thrilling. It’s the ultimate, really, to get your suit on the cover.” Out of hundreds of thousands of suits shipped to the top-secret locations, six Sauvage suits made it into the pages, and the $165 pink-and-yellow triangle suit ended up making the cover. Southwood says the secret to Sauvage’s success in the mag is that they walk the line between sexy and tasteful, both in their special suits for Sports Illustrated and their everyday swimwear. “We try to be sensuous and stylish at the same time,” he said. “We want you to feel glamorous when you put on our suits, just like the photos you see in SI.” See more at sportsillustrated.com, or pick up an issue, on stands now — and if you’re ready to shop for your own bikini, visit everythingbutwater.com and enter our exclusive code SI2011 at checkout for a free water bottle with purchase! -Alex Apatoff

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