Think a one-piece is boring? Think again. With her historic SI Swimsuit Issue cover in 2021, Leyna Bloom reinvented the essential form of swimwear. After the Chicago native traveled to Tampa, Fla., for her rookie photoshoot with Yu Tsai, she earned the cover and became the publication’s first transgender model in history.
Bloom, who is also an actress, dancer and activist, has returned to the fold each year since. Her work with the brand has since taken her to Belize and Dominica, where she posed for Yu Tsai (again) and Amanda Pratt, respectively.
While posing for the magazine along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bloom rocked a number of incredible looks, from one-pieces with bold-cut outs to colorful swimsuits with plunging necklines. And two years later, we’re still just as obsessed with each and every one of them.
“Honestly, it’s everything that I imagined it to be,” Bloom told SI Swimsuit of her cover girl moment. “I think I’m just kind of taking it all in because I don’t want my life to change in some senses. I still want to have balance and normality in my life! But at the same time, this was something that I wanted to do. And I did it. It’s a huge opportunity and I’m so grateful for it. But you know, I have so many more boundaries to break. So I have to just constantly put my sweatpants on and say, ‘I am grateful and proud of what I did today. Now, what am I going to do tomorrow?’”
Below are just a few of our favorite photos from her stunning cover photoshoot.