The wait is FINALLY over...
And Danielle Herrington is living a dream on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018. We invited the two-time SI Swimsuit model to our office under the guise of a virtual reality shoot. Little did she know her life was about to change forever. As she "accidentally" walked into a studio, she found herself on set with an SI Swimsuit legend — the one and only Tyra Banks. As the two embraced, meeting for the first time, the room waited with bated breath for the reveal of a lifetime. Watch the video above to see the unforgettable moment!
The beautiful brunette was shot by photographer Ben Watts in Harbour Island, Bahamas, where she stunned on the pink sand beaches of the Caribbean island.
Danielle started her career just last year and stole the hearts of so many SI Swimsuit fans. The Compton, Calif. native mesmerized as she posed for her first professional shoot (EVER) in beautiful Fiji. "I remember being told I was going to live in New York," Danielle said last year after seeing her first photos in the magazine. "Six months later, I'm a Swimsuit model."
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"Last year, Danielle was a rookie, and yet already an exemplary model," said SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. "She's an extra hard worker and a natural brand ambassador. All those things separately don't guarantee a cover, though. Danielle was a shy girl, who went from taking her first photos last year to showing up this year a completely different person. All the good things about her seemed to be magnified.
"She owned every single second of her shoot. She had an enthusiasm and effervescence about her — I felt like I was meeting her for the first time. Last year she showed up never expecting to be there; this year she showed up completely claiming her place and status as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model."
This year's issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit was shot in the Caribbean, where 20...make that now 21 covers have been shot over the magazine's 54-year history. Danielle becomes just the third African-American to appear on the cover, joining Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyonce (2005). Other famous cover models such as Kate Upton, Heidi Klum,Kathy Ireland and Christie Brinkley have gone on to have illustrious careers in movies, TV, business and beyond.
"I can't even believe I'm saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model," said Danielle. "I can't wait for everyone to see it. I'm emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this and I'm feeling very accomplished, happy and excited."
See every cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue:
Hailey Clauson | Ashley Graham | Ronda Rousey
Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen
Marisa Miller 2008
Veronica Varekova, Elle Macpherson, Rebecca Romijn, Rachel Hunter, Daniela Pestova, Elsa Benítez, Carolyn Murphy, and Yamila Diaz-Rahi
Valeria Mazza and Tyra Banks
Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson and Rachel Hunter
Yvette and Yvonne Sylvander