Making history! Sports Illustrated Swimsuit dropped it’s 2021 issue and it’s safe to say that the spread is filled with movers and shakers — especially in the rookie class.
While the annual issue features returning models like Emily Didonato, Danielle Herrington and Jasmine Sanders in the spread, it also tapped eight newcomers to grace the pages of the publication.
From Natalie Mariduena, who previously worked as David Dobrik’s assistant, to Kathy Jacobs, a 57-year-old model who’s the oldest rookie to date, this year’s group is Sports Illustrated’s most inclusive yet.
The rest of the class is made up of Maggie Rawlins, Katrina Scott, Yumi Nu, Nyma Tang, Tanaye Dubz and Leyna Bloom.
“This year’s Rookie class is made up of 8 empowering, beautiful, inspiring women. These women have started empires and created their own paths in life. They have fought on the frontlines of COVID-19 and have fought for skin-tone inclusivity i the beauty industry,” the magazine captioned a Tuesday, July 20, Instagram post.
They continued: “They are entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, mothers, daughters, sisters, best friends, and so much more. We are shouting out love from the rooftops! Show our rookies some love in the comments! Tell us — which rookie are you loving?”
Fans, models and supporters took the comments section by storm, giving a figurative round of applause for all the newcomers.
“This rookie class is an absolute DREAM. So inspiring, so beautiful I love all of you,” model Christen Harper, who is dating Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, wrote.
Chelsea Heath, who is a chef and model chosen through Sports Ilustrated Swimsuit’s Swim Search, said: “Can’t even pick one they are all amazingly beautiful inside and out.”
Bloom chimed in too. She wrote: “Honored to be a part fo this powerful and beautiful group of women!”
The model, who was photographed by Yu Tsai made history this year as the publication’s first transgender cover model.
“This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder,” she wrote via Instagram. “I am so happy, honored and humbled to share that I’m the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated!”
To learn everything there is to know about Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2021 rookie class, keep scrolling, because we’re breaking it all down, below.