"The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has really revolutionized the modeling industry, The modeling industry in strictly fashion, much of it is unattainable looks and unattainable prices. It is fantasy. And that's wonderful. What I like about Sports Illustrated [is], it really shattered the glass ceiling as far as inclusiveness for women and celebrating different sizes, shapes, ages and colors.
I grew up on the beach, so swimsuits to me [were] never a big deal. It was daily uniform. There were some swimsuits that I did not feel comfortable in and none of us ever [had] to wear anything that we chose, not to.
People had said, once you're on the cover, it really changes your career, but it's difficult to really understand that until it happens. And, [yes] it did in many ways. It changes careers in powerful ways, and it gives each woman a platform. And that's amazing.
I began my modeling career as a business person already. [I] worked since I was a child. [I was] four years old selling, painted rocks, paper out, selling jewelry and handbags that I designed as a kid and modeling was not part of my plan.
It was an opportunity and I felt that this might be a chance for me to save money for college or to start a business. I always knew I belonged on the other side of the lens. I thought Julie was so kind for hiring [me]. But I, didn't see it as, as long-term and I tried and failed many, many businesses. I look at failure as education and in that respect, I'm very well-educated.
If one of those earlier business ventures had taken off, the modeling career wouldn't have lasted as long as it did. I'm grateful because every lesson was powerful. And I got the opportunity to really experience the world. That became my college. That became my education being exposed to the best designers in the world, the best photographers [and travel.]
[That is the] foundation for our style guides today. Our brand aesthetic is rooted in those style guides that span the globe. Sports illustrated, has built and iconic brand. It's really been a privilege to be a part of it throughout the years."