Danielle Herrington first learned what Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue was at the age of 13 while watching The Tyra Banks Show. Herrington would tune in to the talk show almost every day to watch the show’s host and her role model, the legendary supermodel Tyra Banks. Herrington was, and still is, a huge fan of Tyra’s — so much so that she also made it a point to catch Tyra’s evening reality show, America’s Next Top Model, growing up.
Herrington always wanted to be a game-changing model, just like Tyra. While she never auditioned for America’s Next Top Model herself (she was always too young to meet the age requirement), she would follow in Tyra’s footsteps in a more substantial way 11 years later. In February 2018, Herrington became the third black woman to score the cover of SI’s Swimsuit Issue, joining the ranks of Tyra and Beyoncé. “To be in that category with them is really amazing because they have been my idols and the two people that I actually really look up to,” Herrington told POPSUGAR. “I really followed their careers.” – Popsugar reports.
Being the third black woman to earn the spot is completely impressive, especially given the fact that the magazine has been in circulation since 1954 (the first SI Swimsuit Issue was released 10 years later). Herrington, who hails from Compton, CA, didn’t get to this moment without any hurdles, though. The 24-year-old first dipped her toes into modeling at 11, when she won a scholarship to attend a modeling program under the institute of John Casablancas. She was signed to an agency two years later and that same year was paid a visit by something she, nor anyone else, could have avoided: puberty.