After months of speculation, the wait is finally over. We're happy to announce that Hungarian model Barbara Palvin is the 2016 SI Swimsuit Rookie of the Year!
Barbara faced some fierce competition from the likes of fellow rookies, Ashley Graham, Sofia Resing, Tanya Mityushina and Bo Krsmanovic. As one Facebook fan put it, "It is a five way tie! There is way too much extreme hottage to make a decision!".
With a little help from our friend and fellow (NBA) Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns, we made sure that Barbara's victory was a moment she'll never forget. Be sure to watch the video above to see the priceless moment!
Barbara got her start in modeling at the age of 13 when she was discovered on the streets of Budapest. Since then, she's modeled for Victoria's Secret, H&M, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Armani Exchange and is currently the ambassador for L'Oreal Paris. She also appeared on countless magazine covers and made her acting debut in the 2014 movie Hercules.
As SI Swimsuit Rookie of the Year, Barbara joins a group of wildly successful models, like Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal, Sara Sampaio and Kelly Rohrbach, just to name a few. And as an added bonus. as many of you know, along with the title comes a guarantee that Barbara will be back for a second year. How's that for doubling the good news?
A big thanks goes out to Karl-Anthony Towns, the NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year and one of the brightest starts in the league. After being drafted No. 1 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015, Towns put together one of the most dominate rookie seasons in league history, averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks at the age of 20. With other bright youngsters surrounding him—like Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine—the future is bright for Towns in Minnesota.
BONUS: See some of Barbara's best moments from SI Swimsuit 2016!