DJ XANDRA Reacts to Her 2024 SI Swimsuit Rookie Status

The model and Miami-based influencer detailed all her feels in a recent TikTok video.
Xandra Pohl was photographed by Derek Kettela in Belize.
Xandra Pohl was photographed by Derek Kettela in Belize. / Derek Kettela/Sports Illustrated

Miami-based DJ XANDRA is in her feels, in the best way possible. The model, who is set to appear in next months SI Swimsuit issue, as a 2024 Rookie, just took to TikTok to detail all the exciting, adrenaline-inducing emotions that come with the new label and experience.

The 23-year-old, who posed on the breathtaking beaches of Belize for photographer Derek Kettela, shared her usual get ready with me content. She donned an oversized crewneck—she lives in comfy clothes—and her signature glam time headband to push her hair back. Most of the time she’s in a chatty mood and on the video-based platform, XANDRA gives life updates, shares the curious questions on her mind, or catches fans up on the little moments (good, bad, frustrating, messy) of her life. But her most recent GRWM video was extra special.

“I am going to be a Sports Illustrated Rookie,” she began, before pausing to run circles around her room in excitement. “I wish I could put into words [what this means] ... like what. If you guys know anything about me, this has been my dream since I was a wee little lad. I saw Kate Upton on that cover and I was like ‘that needs to be me.’ ”

She explained that she was the official DJ of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show and Miami Swim Week last July and “instantly hit it off with the team.”

“I’ve done a bunch of crazy shows guys with a bunch of crazy DJ shows with the craziest people, but somehow this got me so nervous ... probably because I was DJing and then midway through, boom, I took off my coverup and I’m just in a bikini and I walk,” she shared. “For me to get to that adrenaline point I think I’d have to either like play Coachella or like get f------ married.”

The Ohio native explained that after Miami Swim Week she wasn’t expecting any news, and just went on with her daily routine, experiencing some big personal life changes and continuing to girlboss in the male-dominated industry. The last week of January she got a call saying, “Hey do you want to go to Belize next week and shoot for Sports Illustrated and be a rookie this year?”

She adds that she did what any normal person would do in that moment, and began hysterically crying, and said yes, of course. XANDRA thanked her fans for supporting her through it all, and reassured them that she had filmed and saved up bits and pieces of the whole journey.

“[The past year year] was easily one of the most emotional, crazy, roller coaster times of my life,” she said. “Thank you all for being here with me through all of this. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of you guys. Thank you so much for making all my dreams come true. I tried to record every single little moment of that entire process so I could share it with you guys when the time is right. The time is finally here.”


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Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL