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#SISwimSearch x FAE's Take on the Little Black Bikini

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It all started with over 10,000 women who submitted videos on Instagram and showed up for our first-ever, in-person casting call in Miami. From there, we narrowed the pool to 67 outstanding candidates. Then, dreams came true for our #SISwimSearch Sweet 16 when they walked the SI Swimsuit x Paraiso runway in South Beach during Swim Week in July. 

So what was in store next for them? When we brought the ladies of this year’s model search back down to South Beach in November for a celebrity soccer match to benefit Best Buddies and Little Lighthouse, we also tasked them with their first official photoshoot. In collaboration with our friends at swimwear company FAE, the final 16 women of #SISwimSearch rocked a collection of stunning black bikinis and one-pieces from the brand’s evergreen collection. And the results were as hot as you think.

Scroll down to see all of the images from this super, steamy photo shoot and to learn more about why each of the women in this year’s model search competition want to be a part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family. 

Photographs by Kessler Tran 

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Brooks Nader

Baton Rouge, Fla.

Instagram

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"To be part of something as positive and empowering for women as #SISwimSearch at this moment in history is a tremendous honor. I am so proud of all the courageous women who have put themselves out there to inspire other women to live the one life they have with love, joy and and a sense of purpose uninhibited by judgement."

Allyn Rose

Newburg, Md.

Instagram

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“I thought that having a mastectomy and undergoing three reconstructive surgeries was going to be the hardest experience of my life. But I quickly learned that the pain of having surgery was nothing compared to what it would take to learn to love my new body. This surgery—my scars—likely meant that the 'glamorous, sexy, fun' things that I wanted to experience in life would no longer be possible. But the day I was chosen as a Sweet 16 finalist changed everything. MJ Day and the Sports Illustrated team, continuing to break barriers, took a chance on a woman like me. Their faith in me was a powerful reminder that no matter what society, or anyone else might tell me, my life wasn’t over; it was just beginning. This opportunity has shown me the power of my voice and afforded me the opportunity to impact the lives of other women. I cannot wait to see what incredible things come next.”

Tanaye White

Silver Spring, Md.

Instagram

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"Being a part of #SISwimSearch means having the chance of a lifetime to become one of the models I’ve always admired in the pages of Sports Illustrated. But unexpectedly for me, the Swim Search became a sisterhood of powerful and uplifting women who cheer for you just as much as you cheer for yourself. And I’ve loved being a part of that!”

Veronica Pome'e

Perris, Calif.

Instagram

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"Being a part of the #SISwimSearch has helped me unify my community in different parts of the world as well as influencing an entire generation of young girls to be strong in mind, body, and spirit while changing the way the world perceives how that strength should look.”

Jessica Aidi

Paris, France

Instagram

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"I want to thank all of you not only for giving me the chance to be a part of this journey but for giving the chance TWICE! I will never ever forget what you did to me, unlike the rest of the industry which has always doubted my abilities to be a good model. #SISwimSearch is not only a contest, it’s a dream come true to be able to meet such amazing people, such strong women and incredible personalities. You helped me to show my voice, to fight against my shyness, to accept myself as I am with all my flaws and qualities, with my body, my mind, my hair… my French accent! I admire the way you are using your power to show to all the word how much all the woman are amazing in their own skin, no matter what! 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stand up for all women.’ To be an official Sport Illustrated model or to end at the Sweet 16 is an honor and a source of pride to be chosen to represent your world!”

Mara Martin

Key Largo, Fla.

Instagram

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"Indescribable joy doesn’t even begin to express this experience for me. This has been a chance to chase a lifelong dream. A chance to look back on, and show my daughter to never stop chasing her wildest dreams no matter the obstacles. A chance to show women of all shapes and sizes that they are beautiful, and to be confident in who they are. And what has come from this experience has been this incredible moment for my daughter and I, and a movement for mothers worldwide to show that no one can stand in your way, that you can work and be a mother all at the same time, and that women can truly do it all."

Laura Elizabeth Woo

Malibu, Calif.

Instagram

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