Haley Kalil kicked off swimsuit season with a major bang.
The 28-year-old was the co-winner of the first-ever Sports Illustrated Open casting call in 2018 alongside Camilla Kostek, who was in New York City supporting her longtime love Rob Gronkowski at the ESPY Awards.
Kalil joined Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader, Katrina Scott, Kathy Jacobs, as well as the 13 Swim Search hopefuls selected for the magazine’s annual open casting call, at the Mondrian Hotel South Beach’s Baia Beach Club during PARAISO Miami Beach. SI Swimsuit supermodel Jasmine Sanders opened the runway.
“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit continues to redefine the cultural conversation around beauty by celebrating a diverse group of women who include professional athletes, entrepreneurs, models, mothers, rookies and swim search contestants,” read a statement sent to Fox News on Sunday.
“It’s annual Miami runway show which collectively rounds out this remarkable group of authentic and aspirational women has become the go-to show during swim week in Miami,” the statement added.
PARAISO Miami Beach is the official platform for swim shows, events and brand launches in Miami from July 8 to July 11.
SI Swimsuit, which was first launched in 1964, has become one of the most recognizable and influential pop culture brands. The magazine is known for launching the successful careers of numerous models over the years.
“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has become a new lifestyle brand that champions body confidence and self-expression, and connects with diverse audiences through digital content and signature experiences that nurture the body, soul and spirit,” read the statement.
The magazine’s highly anticipated issue is scheduled to hit newsstands on July 19. The Minnesota native will make an appearance.
Before Kalil made her modeling debut, she was already making a splash in the science world. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Cloud State University with a 4.0 in biomedical sciences and psychology with a minor in chemistry.
According to SI, the 28-year-old also published award-winning immunological research and worked with numerous local science programs to encourage young women to pursue STEM fields. Now, she’s launching The Nerd Herd, an organization that aims to empower women to love their bodies while pursuing STEM studies.
In May, Kalil told Fox News she was proud to represent “all the ginger nerds out there.”
“Honestly, I still can’t believe it,” said Kalil at the time. “It seems like just yesterday that I was making a video for them in hopes that I’ll ever be considered. I never dreamed that I would be shooting my fourth spread for them. It’s mind-blowing. I’m honestly honored.”
“I’m honored because this is how I got my start in modeling,” she continued. “Swim Search was my first access to the modeling world. And it has allowed me to inspire so many other women to celebrate their bodies. And I’m repping all the ginger nerds out there.”
“But really, representation is everything,” Kalil shared. “It’s one of the real reasons I wanted to be a part of Sports Illustrated because they were one of the first major fashion publications where I saw a redhead for the first time. And I thought, ‘Wow, everyone teases me at school for being a redhead. Here’s this model who’s beautiful and also a redhead.’ I felt I could be beautiful, too.
“So for me, it’s all about being that representation for someone else. I hope someone can look at me and go, ‘I see myself in her.’ That’s really my ultimate goal with every single year that I shoot with SI.”
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