Leyna Bloom walking for Chromat's spring/summer 2020 show in 2019.
Leyna chooses the brands she works with carefully, and like Sports Illustrated, "Chromat is a brand that gave me the chance to be seen back in 2014 when I started walking in the show. That brand represents exactly what this magazine represents: exclusive women having exclusive stories and representing equality, powerful voices, and strength," she tells POPSUGAR.
"I have to tell every single person that has a dream to go deep inside themselves and learn about who that person is."
"Another brand that I love is Rosina Mae, who is also an ethical designer and happens to be my best friend. The world is changing, and you have to understand the value of what you're wearing. You have to understand what it takes to start sewing and what that process is like. I think it's important to have a magazine where swimsuits are worn that represent those things in the world. It's about understanding the climate, community, and environment," Leyna says.
As for what she'd say to up-and-coming models who are going to be affected and empowered by this cover — along with all of Leyna's accomplishments as a trans woman of colour in the modelling industry — the advice is simple. "I have to tell every single person that has a dream to go deep inside themselves and learn about who that person is. Understand that when you come out of that experience and go out into the world, those are the moments that really define you and add puzzle pieces to who you are. That's why you're unique. Surround yourself with people that love you and love yourself."
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hits newsstands July 22.