Katie Austin and Christen Harper Are Named SI Swimsuit’s 2022 Rookies of the Year

For the first time, co-winners have been honored.

We are excited to announce both Katie Austin and Christen Harper as the 2022 Rookies of the Year! Each year the SI Swimsuit team honors a model for her debut appearance in its most recent issue. In the 2022 issue, there were eight rookies: Austin, Harper, Cindy Kimberly, Duckie Thot, Georgina Burke, Kamie Crawford, Maye Musk and Olivia Ponton. Winning the title confirms that the honoree will be invited back to be photographed for next year’s issue.

When surprising Harper and Austin with the news on a video call, SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day explained, “This whole brand is what you guys represent—fabulous people supporting each other, doing their thing bigger and better all the time. Really motivated, smart individuals who keep creating opportunities for themselves and keep growing. You do it for each other, and you do it for random strangers and you do it for us. It’s pretty awesome. There’s never been two more worthy people.” We couldn’t agree more.

 Katie Austin and Christen Harper on the red carpet at SI Swimsuit's  launch of the 2022 issue.

Both Austin and Harper first became affiliated with SI Swimsuit through the franchise’s open casting call platform, SI Swim Search. Each was selected as 2021 Swim Search finalists and participated in a photo shoot alongside 11 other finalists in Atlantic City, N.J. The pair was then announced as co-winners of Swim Search last September, catapulting them into the 2022 issue.

Mara Milam


Mara Milam is the managing digital producer at SI Swimsuit. The California based video and digital content producer joined the “swim team” in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was settling in. Mara is a lover of all things travel and wellness and is passionate about elevating the voices and stories of people often not heard.