6 Gorgeous Pics of Cris Urena From Her Rookie Photoshoot in St. Lucia

Prior to her SI Swim debut, the model had a unique start to her modeling career.
Cris Urena was photographed by Walter Iooss Jr. in St. Lucia.

Cris Urena was photographed by Walter Iooss Jr. in St. Lucia.

There is no one way to enter into the modeling industry, and the paths that each person takes differ significantly from one to the next. For Cris Urena, this couldn’t be more true. The model made her SI Swimsuit debut in St. Lucia with photographer Walter Iooss Jr. in 2014, thanks to her skill as a model and, in part, to her friend’s intervention years before.

“My friends submitted my pictures to a couple of agencies around New York and one of them contacted me,” she said of her foray into the world of modeling. “And then three-and-a-half months later I signed my contract.” 

Signing with an agency changed the course of Urena’s career. Before her friends took charge, she had been attending nursing school and working as a nursing assistant. “It was completely different,” she remarked regarding the shift.

Even three years into her modeling career, her mind was still geared toward nursing. “To this day, I still sometimes identify myself as a nursing assistant,” she said laughingly. 

Though widely different from her previous professional experience, modeling was an exciting new endeavor for the 31-year-old. Posing for SI Swimsuit was particularly exciting for the up-and-coming model. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” she said of the opportunity. “But it’s also kind of exciting.”

Despite the nerves, Urena was a total natural behind the lens on set in St. Lucia. Below are six of our favorite photos from the feature.


Make sure to follow SI Swimsuit on YouTube!

Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.