TODAY   |  February 18, 2014

Models teach Willie how to navigate the catwalk

TODAY’s Willie Geist goes behind the scenes at a Sports Illustrated photo shoot with such famed models as Heidi Klum and Petra Nemcova, who teaches him how to strut his stuff. The magazine releases its 50th anniversary issue today.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome back to sochi as we enjoy the olympic winter games . the folks at " sports illustrated " want you to think about summer, specifically the 50th anniversary of the swimsuit issue out today. and willie's got more on that.

>> that said.

>> the magazine " sports illustrated " just to name a few. to celebrate, the magazine reunited some of those legendary cover models. and for some reason, they invited me. excuse me, sir, i've got the golden ticket . what's going on here? a secret? once inside model mecca, my mission was to join the club and take a close-up with 22 of the biggest names in swimsuit history.

>> who is your favorite " sports illustrated " swimsuit model ?

>> i'm standing with her right now.

>> was i ready? did i have what it takes? if only there were a few dozen experts around to give some advice.

>> more rouge, you think?

>> yeah.

>> more color?

>> more sexiness? this isn't working for you yet?

>> it's working. it's working.

>> first things first. learning the walk from petra nemkova .

>> so you're going to glide. like you mean it.

>> yeah. not that.

>> every supermodel needs a signature pose. so kate upton shared her secrets with me.

>> i always have a go-to pose. like the hand on the hip and up by my face.

>> yeah, right.

>> little push.

>> what is the hand? what does that add?

>> i don't know. it's me.

>> it's just --

>> for you, you could do a throwback like this. like you're pushing your hair back.

>> okay. with the hand on the waist?

>> yeah, always. yes! boom. killed it.

>> got it. geist/upton out.

>> what.

>> but before we took the picture, i needed to understand what it meant to be a legend.

>> a legend is --

>> someone who goes off the beaten path and makes their own way.

>> aspirational, stood the test of time.

>> game-changer.

>> somebody who pushes in the mind and body.

>> someone who has left an indelible, lasting impression.

>> a person whose accomplishments are so amazing, the path would stand on its own.

>> despite meeting absolutely none of those criteria, i was ready for the big moment. even with the great photographer on the camera, i opted for a selfie. maybe it's best to leave it to the professionals.

>> obviously my selfies don't do any of those ladies justice. here's a look at the actual photograph. how about this for an all-star lineup of the all-time cover models over 50 years of " sports illustrated " magazine. really cool.

>> wake up, willie, it was all just a dream.

>> wake up with her next to you.

>> yeah.

>> so did you learn anything? what is your one take-away moment of all of that?

>> i should not have been there. i had no business being in that room. i should have been home with my wife and children.

>> you learned a good pose, though, can you do that again?

>> that cat thing? no, i don't think that's it.

>> what was that?

>> that's the cat look.

>> that's not good. hairball.