December 8, 2022

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Aussie models Georgina Burke, Duckie Thot make Sports Illustrated debut

Curve model Georgina Burke is one of two Australians listed as a Sports Illustrated rookie for its upcoming swimwear edition. Picture: Supplied
Curve model Georgina Burke is one of two Australians listed as a Sports Illustrated rookie for its upcoming swimwear edition. Picture: Supplied

One of the nation’s most popular curve models, who is in the running to be pictured on the front cover of Sports Illustrated, has told of the hilarious story of how she found out she’d feature in the renowned American magazine.

Georgina Burke, 31, has been announced as one of eight rookie models who will appear in the much anticipated swimsuit edition 2022 due out in May.

The Brisbane-born 185cm-tall model, who now lives in Manhattan, New York, has worked with prestigious brands like Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

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She also launched her own swim brand called Burke NYC in 2019.

Brisbane-born model Georgina Burke will feature in the May swimwear edition of Sports Illustrated. Picture: Supplied
Brisbane-born model Georgina Burke will feature in the May swimwear edition of Sports Illustrated. Picture: Supplied
In 2019, the 31-year-old launched her own swim brand called Burke NYC. Picture: Supplied
In 2019, the 31-year-old launched her own swim brand called Burke NYC. Picture: Supplied

Ahead of the magazine’s release, Burke said she was shocked when she received the call from Sports Illustrated.

She explained she was in Montana for Thanksgiving and at first rejected the phone call from her agent because she was laying in bed.

When the former law student called her agent back soon after, she was told she had a fitting for the magazine that same day.

Burke took the first flight back to New York for the fitting and was then flown to Barbados the following morning for the shoot on the beach.

“It was so crazy. I had untouched hair regrowth and no time to do a manicure or pedicure,” she said.

“I was actually picking off my red acrylic nails in the cab to the airport.

“I actually met with Sports Illustrated three years ago and told them I wasn’t ready at that time to do this, but this time the time was right. I’m so grateful and excited.”

Burke, 31, has worked with numerous prestigious brands like Ralph Lauren. Picture: Supplied
Burke, 31, has worked with numerous prestigious brands like Ralph Lauren. Picture: Supplied
The curve model said she was shocked when she received the call from Sports Illustrated. Picture: Supplied
The curve model said she was shocked when she received the call from Sports Illustrated. Picture: Supplied

She said it was gratifying to see women of all sizes regularly featuring in high-profile campaigns and magazines.

Burke said curve models were more accepted in the United States and Australia still had a way to go.

“I was a big kid – tall and wide. Kids would call me every name in the book and throw my lunch across the playground,” she said.

“It got so bad at primary school that my parents pulled me out to go to a private girls’ high school, but even there I didn’t fit in. By then I was used to being different, so I’d die my hair all sorts of colours. I was always the odd one out.

“Don’t let anyone hold you back because if someone wants you to be something you’re not, you’re not going to be authentic. The minute you become true to yourself you might end up doing Sports Illustrated.”

Duckie Thot, pictured in a Topshop campaign, was also named as one of Sports Illustrated’s eight rookies. Picture: Instagram
Duckie Thot, pictured in a Topshop campaign, was also named as one of Sports Illustrated’s eight rookies. Picture: Instagram
She has worked with brands like TopShop and Victoria’s Secret. Picture: Supplied
She has worked with brands like TopShop and Victoria’s Secret. Picture: Supplied

Burke isn’t the only Australian that will feature in the prestigious magazine.

Duckie Thot, who featured in the eighth season of Australia’s Next Top Model, was also named among the magazine’s eight rookie models.

The South Sudanese model, who grew up in Melbourne, has also worked with esteemed brands like TopShop, Victoria’s Secret, L’Oreal and Yeezy.

She took to social media to say that she was “so excited” to announce the news.

“Shooting this was a dream!! It still hasn’t sunken in yet, but I am beyond honoured to be a part of the family,” her post read.

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