Israeli Cover Girl’s SI Swimsuit Debut

By Nathan Burstein

Published February 04, 2009, issue of February 13, 2009.
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Next month should be a memorable one for Esti Ginzburg. The Israeli model will turn 19, join the army and make her debut appearance in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

One of Israel’s rising stars on the international modeling scene, Ginzburg will become the second Israeli featured in Sports Illustrated’s famous photo spread, her Israeli agent, Shai Avital, told The Shmooze. Ginzburg’s inclusion in the issue follows two consecutive appearances by fellow Israeli model Bar Refaeli, who infuriated many of her compatriots two years ago by telling the newspaper Yediot Aharonot that she didn’t regret avoiding army service, because professionally, the decision paid off “big-time.”

While following in Refaeli’s footsteps in Sports Illustrated, Ginzburg has opted not to bypass her own military obligation. Among other activities, the green-eyed model will represent the army in information sessions aimed at younger Israelis preparing for their own service, and she plans to complete the standard two-year service period required of female soldiers, Avital said. As has been done for other young Israelis already in the midst of successful acting, modeling and athletic careers, the army will allow Ginzburg to continue her modeling work as she fulfills her service to the military.

A relative newcomer to American fashion shoots, Ginzburg has modeled outside Israel for Tommy Hilfiger, French Connection UK, and Abercrombie & Fitch. The model is featured in a photo spread in this month’s issue of Glamour magazine, and she has appeared in American Vogue and served three times as the cover girl for the French edition of Elle.


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