What happens when you take two top swimsuit models to the boardwalk in the middle of summer? One super-sexy photo shoot.

Longtime Swimsuit Editor MJ Day gave us the scoop on the new Summer of Swim feature in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now.  “I guess the whole concept was to treat it a little bit different from how we treat February,” she says. That includes the fact that they shot in the opposite of a remote location: Coney Island — in June.  “There are so many people in Coney Island, and you’re just surrounded,” she says.  “It wasn’t a paparazzi moment, but more of a fan moment.”

SI Swimsuit has taken that fan-centric vibe to the next level with a  free festival taking place August 28th on the Coney Island Boardwalk. So far, cover models Ashley Graham, Nina Agdal and Hannah Davis Jeter (who just married former Yankee Derek Jeter in July) are on tap for meet-and-greets, and there will be pop-up shops, games, curated food trucks and more. That evening, there will be a concert at the newly-opened Ampitheater on the Coney Island Boardwalk, and rapper Action Bronson will perform. A $100 ticket will get you VIP access to the show and to a party with the models afterward.

Another difference between the Coney Island shoot and the shoots in the February issue: You can shop all the suits.

“Everything that we shot was very wearable, with the exception of giant mermaid tail that we shot Hailey in,” says Day (see below for that fabulousness). “In February, all the suits are going to be happening for cruise collections or even potentially the following summer. All of the things we shot are available now, so if you like it, you can get out and buy it!”

Which is why we’ve got the scoop on the adorable suits Nina Agdal and Hailey Clauson rocked in the Summer of Swim story! Check out the behind-the-scenes shots below.

Taylor Ballantyne

Clauson’s Ariel-esque top is $68 at Margherita Mermaid, and her mermaid tail is made by Hawaii-based designer “Mermaid Kariel.” The stretchy neoprene material is covered in hand-stitched iridescent sequins and worth $10,000!

Taylor Ballantyne

Clauson is wearing the “Tropicana” top and bottom from Aussie brand Amore + Sorvete. (Fellow SI model Emily Ratajkowski is the face of the brand!)

Ben Watts

Agdal (left) is wearing the Salt, Sun & Bikinis “Destino Ibiza” top and Clauson is in the Maaji “Tintoretto” top on the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster.

Taylor Ballantyne

Clauson poses in front of the iconic Nathan’s hot dog stand in an Ola Vida bikini, Schutz “Reeba” platforms and sunnies from Sama Eyewear Shop.

Do these e pics make you want to check out the SI fan festival on Aug. 28? Share your thoughts in the comments!



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