The Black Australian model’s inclusion was confirmed on the publication's Instagram. MJ Day, SI’s editor-in-chief, captured the moment in her caption writing, "It’s been a long time coming for us to welcome Duckie Thot to SI Swimsuit!."
"We were eager to have her join us the minute we first met her over Zoom while she was in Ghana during the pandemic,” Day’s statement read. “We were thrilled when we got the news that she'd be joining us on our 2022 shoot in Montenegro with photographer James Macari."
"@duckiethot’s strong personality and beauty mixed with her inspirational story blended together seamlessly for some of our most powerful photos yet. Introducing our newest ROOKIE: DUCKIE,” the statement continued.
The daughter of parents from South Sudan, Thot, whose birth name is Nyadak, was born and raised in Australia. She was discovered while at a photoshoot with her older sister Nikki. From there, she was cast in Australia's Next Top Model at 17-years old.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Thot recalled being drawn into the world of fashion because of the lack of women of color she saw represented in the industry while growing up.
"I went to a private school where there weren’t many people of color. When we were growing up and people started wearing makeup, I could never find a shade for me, which was difficult to deal with," she said. “In February 2020. "I remember being in a shopping center, and I couldn’t find a single person who looked like me on a billboard. That moment made me want to get into fashion."
Although she placed third in Australia's Next Top Model, Thot was hardpressed to land modeling jobs in her home country. Eventually, she relocated to New York where she worked with Kanye West, appeared in the 2018 Pirelli Calendar, and became the face of L'Oréal.
"The beautiful thing about fashion is it’s an always-changing industry [in terms of diversity],” she continued. “We’re at a point right now, especially the younger generation, where everybody needs our voice and needs us to say what we want the fashion industry to look like in five years," said Thot. "Today, there are women of color on billboards everywhere. At airports, every shopping center in every country I go to. It’s so important and so necessary, and I’m so happy that other girls can see themselves now. When it comes to diversity in the industry, I’m happy to be a part of that change."