Illinois native Erin Heatherton is known for her three years as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. In 2015, she made her SI Swimsuit debut with photographer Yu Tsai in St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She double-dipped in the magazine that year with another fun bodypaint feature with talented artist Joanne Gair.
Heatherton, who returned to the magazine in 2016 and was captured by Ruven Afanador in Zanzibar, has been in the industry since 2006 and moved to New York City at the age of 17 to pursue her modeling career. She has starred in campaigns and walked the runway for major brands including Prada, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Lacoste, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana.
“I can’t even imagine I’m doing this right now. To be able to learn and feel comfortable getting on camera, doing something funny, doing something different, that’s the perfect description of my hobbies. Sports Illustrated is really the highlight of my career. I’ve never had such a positive, uplifting experience than my shoot with Sports Illustrated,” Heatherton gushed about her time with the magazine. “When you feel appreciated, you feel loved, you can really shine. I’m really lucky... the most amazing people. So many new experiences. The most amazing girls with the best personality. It’s a party. What could be better?”
The 34-year-old is also a fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur. She co-runs and is an instructor at Resistance Chicago, a boutique Pilates studio. Heatherton and her husband, Karol Kocemba, got married in January.
Below are five of our favorite photos from Heatherton’s debut with the magazine.