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Every year at about this time Staff Writer Jule Campbell, who coordinates our fashion coverage, finds herself repeatedly distracted from her schedule of writing and picture selecting by our male staff members. They invariably tell her what a cushy job she has, then offer to help her edit the swimsuit photographs like those in the story that begins on page 40.
"If a writer has just spent a week in Pittsburgh with Mean Joe Greene," says Campbell, "I can understand how he might think it would be more fun to spend a few days in Baja California with Cheryl Tiegs. But we really do work hard. This year I had the girls up every day between 4 and 5 a.m., we were on the beach by 5:30, and we usually worked until we lost the sun." In Cabo San Lucas, on the Tropic of Cancer, the sun begins to dip behind the mountains at 6 p.m. "After that it was dinner and off to bed," says Campbell. "We didn't see much of the good life of Baja."
For Yvonne and Yvette Sylvander, the 20-year-old yellow-haired twins on this week's cover, modeling on location was a new experience. They were doing ads for a bathing suit company when Campbell spotted their picture in Women's Wear Daily. She immediately called the manufacturer, who reluctantly gave her the Sylvanders' number, and reached the models' mother by phone. That conversation prompted Campbell to fly to Florida, and after a three-hour interview she asked the twins if they would pose for us. "We had been working part-time as waitresses in a health-food store," says Yvette. "It came down to a choice between serving carrot-juice cocktails or going to Baja. We took Baja."
Christie Brinkley, another of the featured models, began her career when a photographer "discovered" her three years ago, walking along a street in Paris where she was working as an artist. Now when Christie goes on location she packs her sketch pad and, since she is an avid sportswoman, her running shoes as well.
Cheryl Tiegs, who is making her fourth appearance in our annual swim-suit issue, enjoys modeling because it allows her to choose when and for whom she will work. She made her first appearance as a cover girl on Glamour magazine 10 years ago, and has been on more than 150 covers (including SI's twice) since. "Cheryl is one of the few models who has been able to bridge the gap between the innocent little girl look and the sophisticated woman look," says fashion agent Nina Blanchard. "She may not be the girl all women want to look like, but she has a quality that makes her look the way most men think a woman should look."
Cheryl's impact on our readers has been so strong that we have received several letters nominating her for Sportsman of the Year. Her fan mail resulting from appearances in our pages comes from all over the world, and she answers every letter with a brief personal note or a picture.
"The reason for Cheryl's popularity is no big secret," says Campbell. "A girl can have a beautiful face, but if she doesn't have personality, nothing happens in front of the camera. Cheryl's got it, Christie's got it and so have the twins."
This last fact, we think you'll agree, is twice as nice.