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MJ Day Spills the Tea on What It Takes to Be a SI Swimsuit Model

“We cast for the person,” says the editor in chief.

When Kate Bock and Kamie Crawford hosted SI Swimsuit’s 2022 red carpet issue launch event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., they interviewed everyone from Marquita Pring to Brooks Nader. When SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day stopped by to chat, the hosts charmed her into giving away state secrets, namely how she casts for the SI Swimsuit issue. Spoiler alert: no bathing suits are involved.

Speaking to Bock, who just celebrated 10 years with the brand, Day said, “We cast for the person and you’ve been doing this for 10 years! When we cast [you], now 11 years ago, it was the same process that we’ve always had, and that is to get to know you and what you’re about and who you are. And it really isn’t about how you look in a swimsuit. It’s about who you are as a person and the type of energy you put into the world.”

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Day continued to explain the casting process. “Every single person that we meet is very, very different. And they’re part of this for that reason, because there’s no cookie-cutter image that we are looking to fill. It’s about meeting someone, getting to know who they are and how they set themselves apart. We want to see that personality shine through and to really understand who you are, because we’re also looking for a long-term relationship with you.”

“I think that is really refreshing and unique,” Bock replied. “As a model, that was such a unique opportunity and it feels so special to bond with people and actually know they care about you and want to help you and push you. And I think it’s reciprocated, it’s something I’m really grateful for.”

The brand’s annual open casting platform, Swim Search, provides opportunities for both aspiring and established models to meet with the SI Swimsuit team in the hopes of being featured in the next edition of the iconic issue. This year’s Search was launched on The Swimfluence Network app and the Mady Dewey was just announced this week as the 2022 winner. She will appear as a rookie in the 2023 issue. Swim Search submissions for 2023 will be opening shortly on The Swimfluence Network app. Stay tuned for the exact date and exciting announcements on upcoming in-app surprises and in-person events happening soon.