It has been officially announced that model Danielle Herrington has landed the cover of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
The outlet invited her to their offices for a "virtual reality shoot," but when she got there they revealed that she had been chosen for the coveted cover.
Not only was she surprised by the announcement, but Sports Illustrated had also brought in former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue model Tyra Banks to tell her.
A native of Compton, California, Herrington only started modeling in 2017. Her first ever professional shoot took place in Fiji that same year.
"I remember being told I was going to live in New York," Herrington said. "Six months later, I'm a Swimsuit model."
"I can't even believe I'm saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model," the 24-year-old added. "I can't wait for everyone to see it. I'm emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this and I'm feeling very accomplished, happy and excited."
"Last year, Danielle was a rookie, and yet already an exemplary model," said MJ Day, the SI Swimsuit Editor. "She's an extra hard worker and a natural brand ambassador. All those things separately don't guarantee a cover, though. Danielle was a shy girl, who went from taking her first photos last year to showing up this year a completely different person. All the good things about her seemed to be magnified."
"She owned every single second of her shoot. She had an enthusiasm and effervescence about her — I felt like I was meeting her for the first time. Last year she showed up never expecting to be there; this year she showed up completely claiming her place and status as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model," Day added.
Interestingly, Herrington is only the third African-American woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Banks has been on the cover twice — once in 1996 and then again the very next year. Beyoncé Knowles was the second. She appeared on the cover in 2007.
Over on her Instagram page, Herrington continued expressing her excitement, posting a photo of the cover and commenting, "This is my first cover ever and I am beyond speechless! I dedicate this to all the young girls out there. Work hard, surround yourself with good people who believe in you and your DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!"