Born and raised in the Philippines, Kelsey Merritt always had a big vision and strong work ethic. She used earnings from her early modeling assignments in Manila to help fund her education at the prestigious Ateneo de Manila University, where she earned a degree in communications at the age of 20. Merritt’s passion for fashion brought her to New York City in 2017, where she quickly got the attention of numerous top-tier clients. A year later, she became the first Filipino-American model to walk in the Victoria’s Secret runway show. Merritt -- who made her first SI Swimsuit appearance in 2019 -- stays true to her roots and continues to promote the Filipino culture. She’s also an advocate for removing plastic pollution from the oceans and lives a lifestyle that uses as little plastic as possible.
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MJ Day: Why Kelsey?
Brains and beauty is our favorite combo and that is exactly how we describe Kelsey. She prioritized her education before entering the modeling space and her career has been full steam ahead ever since. Kelsey's pride in being the first Filipino model in the SI Swimsuit issue is matched by her commitment to sustainability and her dedication to using her platform to inform and educate. Kelsey’s infectiously warm personality makes her extremely lovable and we are so excited we get to work with a woman who is beautiful inside and out.