Everything You Need to Know About SI Swim Search

The annual open casting call provides opportunities for aspiring and established models to meet with the SI Swimsuit team in the hopes of being featured by the brand.

2021 Swim Search Finalists, SI Swimsuit models and SI Swimsuit staff at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

Hate to gloat but facts: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is an iconic, worldwide brand. Landing the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue has catapulted the careers of Tyra Banks, Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland and Kate Upton, to name just a few of the now megastar model-moguls who have been associated with the 58-year-old franchise. But how do you get a chance at this coveted gig? Luckily, you don’t need any modeling experience to join the SI Swimsuit family since we host an annual Swim Search. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.

What is SI Swim Search?

​​SI Swim Search is the annual casting call that provides opportunities for aspiring and established models to meet with the SI Swimsuit team in the hopes of being featured by the brand, either in the iconic print issue or in various ways on their digital platforms. The format of the open casting has evolved slightly over the last few years. In-person casting calls were conducted in select cities across the U.S. until the pandemic forced Swim Search to go online via social media and The Swimfluence Network app. This actually has allowed for more participants to enter, giving more people the chance to appear in the magazine. While there will likely be more Swimfluence Network events as part of the casting process in the future, digital submissions will also be accepted for those who can’t interview in person.

2021 Swim Search finalist Gabriella Halikas and MJ Day.

2021 Swim Search finalist Gabriella Halikas and MJ Day.

When Did Swim Search Start?

In 2005 Sports Illustrated and NBC produced a reality show called Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search. A nationwide search was conducted with 3,000 women considered. Ultimately, the pool was narrowed down to 12 contestants, who appeared on the five-week series, and a winner—19-year-old web designer Alicia Hall—was chosen by the viewers to appear in that year’s issue. Since then, there have been a handful of model search features in the magazine where an online vote determined the winner from a small selection of candidates cast through traditional modeling agency channels.

But SI Swim’s first true open casting call took place in 2017 when anyone could submit a 60-second video via Instagram. The following year the brand hosted an in-person casting in Miami, and it’s been a mix of in-person and digital since then.

Who Has Won in the Past?

Camille Kostek and Haley Kalil were the first Swim Search winners in 2018. Both were included as rookies in the issue the following year (Kostek landed the cover). Other Swim Search winners include Brooks Nader (2019); Kathy Jacobs and Tanaye White (2020); and Katie Austin and Christen Harper (2021). Earlier this summer Mady Dewey was named the 2022 Swim Search winner.

The 2023 Swim Search co-winners were recently announced, and Achieng AgutuNina CashSharina GutierrezPenny LaneBrittney NicoleJena Sims and Berkleigh Wright will each be featured as rookies in the 60th anniversary SI Swimsuit Issue next May.

How Do I Enter?

Again, the exact details of how to enter the Swim Search change slightly each year. You can submit your entry via the Swimfluence Network app, attend an open casting if there is one, and post a submission via a social media channel like TikTok. If the SI Swim team is interested, they will reach out and schedule a digital casting with you. From there, the choices will be narrowed to several finalists who will participate in a photo shoot. The best place to get the most up to date announcements is The Swimfluence Network.

What is The Swimfluence Network?

The Swimfluence Network is an online community and app where you can gain exposure, cultivate and leverage your brand, meet friends, and enter SI Swim Search. It’s a great place to learn from your favorite role models, discover potential sponsors, access all of the latest SI Swim news and trends, and be part of a community all year long that is a champion of change for the next generation. It’s available now for iOS & Android by searching The Swimfluence Network in the App Store or by visiting us online.

Make sure to follow SI Swimsuit on YouTube!

Jordi Lippe-McGraw


Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a Contributing Editor for SI Swimsuit covering all things lifestyle from travel and beauty to entertainment and wellness. Over her nearly 15-year-long journalism career, her work has appeared in the New York Times, WSJ Magazine, Forbes, and more. Plus, she’s appeared on TV shows such as Wendy Williams, TODAY, E!, and MSNBC for her expertise. Jordi's personal passion for travel has brought her to over 50 countries on all 7 continents, including Antarctica at 5 months pregnant. She's also an avid penguin and truffle lover.