Sonia Dara Ditched Her Books and Embraced Vibrant Bikinis for Her SI Swim Photoshoot in India

The Harvard student took a break from her studies to pose for the brand in 2010.
Sonia Dara

Sonia Dara was photographed by Riccardo Tinelli in Rajasthan, India.


When Sonia Dara traveled to the set of her 2010 SI Swimsuit feature, she didn’t bring a résumé full of modeling experience with her. At the time of her incredible trip to Rajasthan, India with photographer Riccardo Tinelli and the rest of the SI Swimsuit team, she was a student at Harvard University, spending her time with her head in books rather than in front of a camera lens.

Though, from the fabulous images that resulted, you wouldn’t have guessed that she came in with little experience in the modeling department. That disbelief was a sentiment that Dara believed her classmates in college would experience upon seeing the photos, too.

“My classmates at Harvard will flip when they see this,” she told the team at the time of her photoshoot. “I’m usually in jeans, a chunky sweater, a ponytail and glasses, with my head buried in a book. The people who know me would have to seriously use their imaginations to picture me as any kind of model.”

As a sophomore economics major, modeling wasn’t usually on the agenda for her. But, thankfully for us, she made her way to the issue for her incredible feature—and made the most of it, too.

The photos—and her shining personality—were about as vibrant (and stunning) as they get. While the whole gallery is certainly worth a view, below are just a few of our favorite snaps from Dara’s idyllic trip to India.

Sonia Dara
Sonia Dara
Sonia Dara
Sonia Dara
Sonia Dara

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Martha Zaytoun

MARTHA ZAYTOUN

Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.