South African native Dominique Piek, who appeared in the 2010 swimsuit issue, remains one of the most requested models to appear in the pages of SI. SwimDaily caught up with Piek to discuss her time at Sports Illustrated, her developing crush on Knicks guard J.R. Smith and what TV shows she can't live without.
SwimDaily: Let's start at the beginning. Were you expecting to be chosen as a Swimsuit model? What did your family and friends say?
Dominique Piek: I went in to see the editors two times before they booked me…. I waited for almost a month before we got word that I got the job and I have to say… it was one of the most exciting phone calls I ever received from my agent. My parents were SO proud because they knew how badly I wanted it and my friends were all like "YEAH can you invite us to all of the fun parties??"
SD: Tell me about being an SI Swimsuit model? Did it increase your profile? Do you get recognized for it?
DP: It definitely raises your profile and you do get a lot of attention for it, especially with all of the more commercial and/or swimsuit and lingerie brands worldwide… I rarely get recognised randomly but at events people always seem to remember me even though I haven't shot the SI swimsuit issue for a while!
SD: What was your favorite photo from the shoot and why?
DP: I love the FIRST shot I did…. it was Day 1, Shot 1 and I was sitting in the sand (It was my rookie page in the issue) -- it was early morning and the light and weather was perfect and I just remember thinking :"WOW, this is really happening."
SD: What companies/campaigns have you worked on since?
DP: Its been a while and a lot has happened, but since then I have shot for Victoria's Secret, Russel and Bromley, Intimmissimi, Ralph Lauren and… gosh I have no idea the list goes on and on… I'm a busy girl and work very hard!
SD: Who is your all-time favorite SI Swimsuit model?
DP: Heidi Klum has always been a favourite and I just love her work ethic and the way she created her empire. Astonishing and inspiring woman.
SD: What do you remember about launch week?
DP: It was CRAZY! I remember at one point wondering if I would still be alive afterwards -- but in the best way possible… the girls were all so fun and the experience as a whole was very special. I hold it very dear to my heart.
SD: Do you still keep in touch with any of the other SI Swimsuit models?
DP: I am still friends with all of them! Jess Perez in particular is one of my closest friends but I talk to Genevieve Morton and Damaris Lewis all the time and who doesn't love them some Brooklyn Decker or Chrissy Teigen?! We are all part of this "clan" and enjoy each other's company immensely. One thing about SI girls is that they are all SUPER fun and down to earth.
SD: I see you attended a Knicks game. Are you a fan or just something to do?
DP: I have officially fallen in love with the Knicks. I only recently started going to games but I played Netball (similar to basketball) at school back in SA and the game is SO fun to watch!
SD: If so, who's your favorite player?
DP: I love watching JR Smith he is just such an exciting player and then Ray Felton is also a fave because he just seems like he plays with so much heart… They are all awesome athletes though so it's hard to choose. Obviously Carmelo Anthony has mad skills too…
SD: What is the one thing you really want to do this summer?
DP: SWIM! My new building has an outdoor pool and I fully intend on utilising that amenity. I also would love to take a trip somewhere in August with my girlfriends… I can't remember the last time I travelled just for fun!
SD: What is your favorite TV show and song at this very moment?DP: I'm obsessed with VEEP at the moment, and GIRLS is also brilliant. I have a secret crush on Lena Dunham. Favorite song right now (I have quite a few but this one just makes me feel like whipping out some serious dance moves) is SAIL by AWOLNATION.