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'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Event: The Models Talk Bikinis! (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 02/15/2012 7:15 am Updated: 02/15/2012 11:11 am

The iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debuted on Tuesday (although it leaked on the Internet on Monday, as these things tend to do), and the bevy of lucky models who graced the pages gathered in New York on Valentine's Day night to celebrate the magazine at Crimson nightclub.

The models all braved the cold in barely-there ensembles, like Genevieve Morton in a Herve Leger bandage dress, who told The Huffington Post she prefers equally skimpy suits: "I liked the one-piece that was pink because it was unusual to shoot a one-piece that has a thong back."

But lucky Crystal Renn got to bundle up more for the red carpet, looking elegant in black Zac Posen. As she explained, "I do love my leather."

Renn also told us that while she didn't get nervous while shooting her first ever SI swimsuit issue, she did have a moment of anxiety afterwards:

"I wasn't nervous at all in front of the camera. That's when I'm least nervous. It's after the shoot, that's more difficult because it's out of your control, it's in the hands of others. But luckily, I love all the images and I would have chosen them myself."

Her favorite swimsuits? "Anything red. Everyone was wearing tons of red [in the issue]."

Bar Refaeli, clad in a skintight electric blue Pucci dress, said she got to take home her favorite Herve Leger suit. Alyssa Miller, whose plunging Isabel Marant suit wowed onlookers, said that she got to keep 20 suits from the shoot.

And then there was famous cover girl Kate Upton, who dazzled everyone in red Lanvin. Upton remained mum on rumors she's dating Jets player Mark Sanchez, but she did walk the red carpet (in red Lanvin) with Giants star Victor Cruz.

When Kate's choosing a suit for herself, it's no surprise: she told us she looks for suits that are "really small, really tiny."

We're not complaining.

Check out photos from the event below to ease your way into the day with some tall, gorgeous models.

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