Katie Austin and Christen Harper’s Advice for SI Swimsuit Model Hopefuls

The SI Swimsuit rookies and BFFs offer their wisdom.

Earlier this year SI Swimsuit rookies Katie Austin and Christen Harper made their debut on the red carpet at the 2022 launch party event at the new Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square. SI Swim’s hostess with the mostest, model Camille Kostek, checked in with the two BFFs and asked whether they had any advice for future SI Swim model hopefuls. Austin and Harper both got their start with the brand as part of the Swim Search franchise — they were the co-winners in 2021— so they were the perfect people to field the question. (Kostek herself was a Swim Search co-winner, to boot.)

Without missing a beat, Austin said, “First off, do it. We were talking earlier as we were getting our glam done [saying], ‘Did you ever have that doubting moment where you just didn’t press send on Instagram? Or press send on your audition tape?’ And we cannot believe that if we didn’t do it, we would not be standing here right now.”

The entrepreneur and fitness model revealed that she’d been auditioning for years for the opportunity to be in the exact place she’s in now. The same lessons learned from pushing herself to work out five days a week led her to persevere in other parts of her career. “It sounds so cliche, but you can accomplish anything that you want,” Austin said. “I had auditioned since 2017. And so honestly, if you first fail, you do it again, baby, you get back up and you just keep trying.” Austin and Harper then said in unison, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

Flipping the question back to Kostek, Austin asked if the 2019 cover model had any advice for them. Kostek replied, “I always say to be motivated by others, be inspired by others, but pave your own path, you know? Just learn from that. But your journey is your journey. We’re gonna fall down and get back up and have that story to tell, because, listen, if you had no struggles, no challenges, there’s no story.”

Austin and Harper’s story is just beginning but the first chapter would already make a bestseller.

Evan Nachimson


Evan Nachimson is New York based writer and artist. When he's not writing, he can be found during the day performing his own original kids music for babies all across NYC and Brooklyn or at a dog park smiling too much watching his Husky/Border Collie Mix, Panda play.