Lauren Chan, a 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie, made a splash with the brand when the model and influencer was photographed by James Macari in the Dominican Republic. The former journalist, who used to be a fashion features editor at Glamour magazine, came out as gay to the world in a personal essay that accompanied her feature in the magazine.
“The whole experience has been incredible,” Chan gushed about her rookie year. “I really just can’t believe I got to be around so many game-changing people—from the people who run the institution to the people who are featured in it and the people who have showed up to the events. We’re all in support of the same mission and [SI Swimsuit] is one of the most impactful institutions in our culture and it just feels like magic to be included. Of course, my shoot was the most memorable experience of it all.”
Chan, who grew up in Canada and now lives in New York City, is also the creator of size-inclusive clothing brand Henning. The company was acquired by Universal Standard this spring, giving Chan a chance to focus more on modeling. She’s loving this season of her career, where she gets to be “cog in the wheel” rather than the one running the whole show.
“While [my previous roles] seem quite different on paper, they have all evolved into one another and they have all made sense to me because they have all fed the same goal,” she explained. “And that goal is to make folks who have felt left out of fashion—and therefore our culture—feel included and capable and powerful.”
Below are five phenomenal photos from Chan’s SI Swimsuit debut in the Dominican Republic.