It seems like anything Yumi Nu puts her mind to is a success. First the Japanese-Dutch personality loved music, so she became a recording artist, releasing new music in the second half of 2021. Then she wanted to get into modeling and is cemented in history as the first plus-size model on the cover of Vogue Japan. Now, the 25-year old is on the cover of SI Swimsuit after making her debut in the magazine last year.
“In her first year of being in the spotlight, Yumi is coming into who she is and taking on the responsibility of what she stands for,” says SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day. Says Nu, “Sports Illustrated was definitely part of this huge wave I’ve been riding right now.”
Nu shot the cover in stunning Montenegro with famed photographer James Macari. During the shoot, she donned swimsuits by brands such asMichael Costello x REVOLVE, Ola Vida, Riot Swim, Andi Bagus, Monday Swimwear, 437, Matte Collection, Nookie Beach, Keva J Swimwear and Toluca Swim.
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“Montenegro was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever shot in,” Nu says. “I kept on having these moments of awe during my shoot. It was hard to stay focused because these breathtaking views were all around me. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been asked back and then to go to beautiful Montenegro!”
Nu is one of four women on the issue’s cover this year—the others are Grammy Award–winning singer Ciara, model/author Maye Musk and pop culture icon Kim Kardashian—to headline one of the most diverse issues in the magazine’s history.
“The journey we’ve been on—to break out of the mold the world put us in—may sound familiar,” says Day. “It’s certainly familiar to the women we’ve chosen to be our cover models: Maye, Ciara, Yumi, Kim. So in this issue, we encourage readers to see these models as we see them: multifaceted, multitalented—and sexy while they’re at it.”
She adds, “The world may label them one way, but we want to focus our lens on all the ways they see themselves and how they own who they are. No matter your age, whether you’re a new mom, partner, sister, entertainer, athlete, entrepreneur, advocate, student, mentor, role model, leader or dreamer—or all of the above—we want to celebrate these women, their evolution and the many dimensions of who they are.”