Some of the best parts of being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model are traveling to exotic locations for photo shoots, constantly meeting new people, and getting pampered from head to toe. But with the coronavirus outbreak, all of that came to a screeching halt. So, how did these typically busy women and the fashion industry adjust to these conditions? We tapped a few SI Swimsuit models to find out.
Photo Shoots via FaceTime
"Everything from photo shoots to meetings, castings, fashion shows all became virtual and was a huge adjustment for everyone in the industry," says Lais Ribeiro. "I never thought in a million years that I would be doing photo shoots through FaceTime. At the same time, I had one of my most meaningful shoots during the pandemic. My sister photographed my son and I for the cover of Vogue Brazil as she was being directed through FaceTime. It was so amazing and an experience I will cherish forever."
Lorena Duran adds, "I had to work online and take photos using the computer. It was strange but at the same time fun and always adapting to the situation."
On-Set Safety Precautions
"I am so blessed to have had savings to help back me because, for a while, the fashion industry shut down. There weren't jobs for months," reveals Haley Kalil. "Models had to adapt very quickly to a brand new environment. At least now, I think I know more about every COVID-19 test than most people because every set I work on requires testing. I'm thankful the fashion industry is opening back up safely and cautiously."
Picked Up a Hobby
"I did everything that I couldn't before because of my work: painting, dancing, reading my favorite books and doing crafts," said Duran. "I adapted to working online, but during the pandemic, I also traveled to work with Spanish brands since I could not travel to other countries."
At-Home Studio Setups in Sweatpants
"This was the first time in years that I didn't find myself at the airport every month, week after week," says Camille Kostek. "Virtual everything became the new norm. Everything from interviews to team meetings, castings, hosting, press days, and all. I even had fun with it some nights by crashing virtual hangouts, bachelorette parties, wine nights and weddings! I ended up turning a guest bedroom into my filming space with a lighting setup ready to roll at all times. I have to admit I loved the 'waist up dressing' for press days with glam and a beautiful top paired with sweats on the bottom."
Enjoying Down Time
"The biggest thing is that all of the travel stopped instantly," says Jasmine Sanders. "Also, most of the content and meetings were taken from home. Work has slowed down a lot, but I'm very blessed to be able to spend time with my family."
Duran adds, "I took advantage of the time to be with my sister and my mother since I don't spend much time with them. The pandemic helped me to enjoy more family and try to get a calmer version of me, more relaxed."