Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Celebrates 50 Years, 2014 Catalogue Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

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Just days after Sports Illustrated celebrated the 50th anniversary of its swimsuit issue, the magazine whisked a number of Victoria's Secret top models off to St Tropez to shoot the 2014 catalogue.

The swimsuit issue was thought up by Sports Ilustrated editor Andre Laguerre to fill the winter months when content was thin. The first issue, released in 1964, featured model Babette March on the cover and had a five-page layout.

babette beatty

Babette Beatty (formerly March) with the launch issue that made her famous

The spinoff has long since outgrown the magazine that launched it with the 2012 edition generating more than $40 million in advertising revenue as well as the millions in sales to the public, CNN said.

Supermodels such as Christine Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum have all featured on the cover, as well as sports stars such as tennis player Maria Sharapova and racing driver Danica Patrick.