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SI Swimsuit 2022 Rookie Cindy Kimberly Is a Creative Force

From clothing designer to podcaster, the model does it all.
Cindy Kimberly photographed by Ben Watts in Barbados 2022.

Cindy Kimberly photographed by Ben Watts in Barbados 2022.

Cindy Kimberly burst onto the scene in 2015 when Justin Bieber posted a photo of her on his Instagram. Since then, the Amsterdam native has graced the covers of magazines, walked in runways shows, and appeared in music videos. And now, she can add another coveted accolade to her quickly growing resume: SI Swimsuit rookie. Kimberly will make her SI Swim debut in the 2022 edition. But the 23-year-old isn't just a force in front of the camera. Kimberly is currently working on a clothing brand, releasing music and hosting a podcast. That’s on top of being a dancer and illustrator. It’s no wonder she’s amassed a following of nearly seven million on Instagram. How does she do it? Here Kimberly opens up about her favorite creative pursuits.

You have so many hobbies from dance to clothing design. What’s your favorite creative outlet and why?

“I think every creative outlet is probably my favorite. That’s my dilemma. I really love them all. I think when you’re creative, it’s all really about expressing yourself, and there are different outlets those ideas shine best in, so you kind of dabble into different art forms to express different things. I think it’s human nature to be creative–everything we do is creative–but once you realize that you’re just as creative as everyone else, it’s like you open a door!”

Does modeling feel like a creative outlet?

“Yes, I think now more than ever. I think of modeling as acting. I tell myself I will be fierce that day or sexy or soft. And it all comes out in the photos. I love having to step into different characters for it. I also genuinely love being on set and observing photographers and stylists. I love watching creative people thrive at what they love and do best and learn.”

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What was the inspiration behind your clothing line?

“I think a big part of it for me was creating clothes…people [feel] confident and represented by. Clothing and style are such amazing forms of self-expression. I love that you can create completely different characters, feel completely different, represent yourself completely differently, all in how you decide to dress that day. I’ve had so many different characters, personalities and ways I saw myself throughout my teenage years, which I mostly explored through style and clothing.”

Why do you want to start a podcast?

“There are things in your transition from girlhood to womanhood, sex, your own body, your mental health that are considered taboo or you can’t talk to your parents about; you’re afraid to ask your friends. My generation looks at the internet for the answers to those questions. I wanted to create a space where you feel like you can find a little bit of your questions answered, feel seen or feel identified with. At 23, I’m finally starting to feel like a woman rather than a girl who’s supposed to feel like a woman. That’s what 18-22 felt like. I feel like I learned so much about myself, a woman’s experience in a world created for men, sexuality, my place in the world, my own body, that I wish I had known certain things I was feeling were normal. So I kind of want to just be able to start a conversation to make people feel like that.”

How do you find time for all your creative pursuits?

“I’m so lucky to have my job in the creative industry. I genuinely feel very blessed to say that because I know that there are so many creatives working non-creative jobs making time to be creative. Aside from that, I’m not the most social person; I’m an introvert, so I feel the most energized when I spend time alone doing the things I like, and everything I like is mostly creative, even cooking, which I love.”

What’s the best part about being in the 2022 Swimsuit Issue?

“Wow, honestly, everything. Maybe the fact that 15-year- old me would never believe me if I told her. But overall, I think just being able to be a part of something that embraces so many different types of women, making them feel celebrated and beautiful is truly an honor.”