Brooks Nader is eager to follow in her idol Christie Brinkley’s footsteps.
The Baton Rouge native is one of six finalists of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s model search competition, which earned her a ticket to Paradise Island, The Bahamas, to shoot with photographer Yu Tsai.
After the shoot, Nader, along with over 30 models, headed to Miami for “SI Swimsuit on Location,” a two-day ticketed exhibition which gave fans the opportunity to explore one-of-a-kind installations and photo experiences.
The magazine’s stars all celebrated at Mynt and Myn-Tu, the newly opened Japanese-French concept restaurant by Romain Zago next to the lounge. It was there where they candidly shared their experiences posing in the sizzling issue.
“For me, it’s everything,” Nader revealed at the venue’s red carpet affair. “I’ve always dreamt of it. It’s like a childhood dream of mine. I entered through Model Search, so I did the open call in Miami a year ago and now I’m here. So, the process and the journey for me is everything, because it was a long one.”
Nader insisted she would recommend any girl to take a chance to rock a skimpy swimsuit for the coveted magazine.
“Go for it,” she shared. “Do it. Be yourself. Own it. I mean, [editor] MJ [Day] and all the editors are just as nervous to meet you guys. Like, they want to see you. They want to see the real you. You want to be authentic. Show your flaws… MJ loves that. And it’s just such a special thing to be a part of this brand.”
BRProud.com recently reported Brinkley, a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit veteran, inspired Nader to participate in the magazine’s contest.
“Christie Brinkley was always a big inspiration for me,” she told the outlet. “She actually was a part of the interview process. It was crazy to be face to face with her and have her be a part of the whole process.”
Nader revealed Brinkley even gave her some advice on making it big.
“[She said] you have to remember that modeling is a job,” recalled Nader. “Like any other, you have to show up on time, be professional, and if you’re freezing, shooting in a bikini in the show or tired, power through it with a smile on your face.”
The outlet also revealed Nader easily stands out from the pack. The pinup is described as someone who is obsessed with eating jalapenos from the jar and talented in peeling two pounds of crawfish in under 10 minutes, among other unique talents.
Looking back, Nader admitted she was stunned when the magazine’s editor called her with the exciting news about appearing in this year’s issue.
“I couldn’t believe it,” recalled Nader. “I got really emotional and when the call was over I couldn’t even call my mom because I was crying so hard and hate talking to my parents when I’m crying because it makes me more emotional.”
Nader also told Sports Illustrated Swimsuit that she hopes the opportunity will help her define what it means to be a model in today’s fashion industry.
“Of course I hope to be an SI Swimsuit regular and maybe even venture into the fashion industry more and break the standard of what a ‘runway model’ is known as,” she explained. “After being told many times that I could never do runway, it was so liberating to strut my stuff on the runway in Miami with SI Swimsuit. I hope to be a versatile model who can do both fashion and commercial work.”
“I want to inspire and encourage young women like my three little sisters to embrace and own who they are and go for it all in life,” Nader continued. “SI inspires us and gives us all permission to own our bodies and our personalities and gifts to let them shine before the watching world.”