See Inside the Casting Process for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's Inclusive Runway Show

During Miami Swim Week, the title recruited a diverse group of models at its first in-person open casting call.

By Kristine Liao August 9, 2018, 7:30 AM EDT

Professional model Mariama Diallo posed in front of signage at Sports Illustrated's open casting call.

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Open Casting Call & Runway Show
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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cast a diverse group of rookie models for its runway show as part of the Paraiso Fashion Fair during Miami Swim Week. The models included a Paralympian, a mother who walked the runway with her baby, and women of diverse races and sizes.

The popular international model search traditionally uses social media to discover new models by asking those interested to post photos or videos with the tag #SISwimSearch. The brand’s first in-person open casting call, held at W South Beach, took place July 13 and 14, followed by the runway show July 15.

A panel made up of SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day, photographer Yu Tsai, and models Kate Upton, Christie Brinkley, Hailey Clauson, and Kate Bock met the candidates and offered tips and advice, then chose more than two dozen models who participated in the show.

The casting call was an event in itself, with on-brand, tropical-looking signage providing everything from directions to motivational phrases. The interview room had a clean white look with a simple textured backdrop and tables.

The snowboarder and Paralympian Brenna Huckaby opened the show, and 2018 SI Swimsuit cover model Danielle Herrington closed. Justine Skye performed throughout the evening as guests sipped on Whispering Angel wine and Ron Barcelo rum.

The three-day event culminated with the show on July 15, which featured more than 40 swim brands and was attended by more than 900 guests. Notable guests included models Olivia Culpo and Joy Corrigan, actor Ryan Phillippe, and N.B.A. star Joel Embiid.

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