Hard to believe it's been just three years since Hailey Clauson made her SI Swimsuit debut. Since then, she's gone dog sledding in frozen Finland (while dressed in a bikini, of course), been crowned Queen of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and famously appeared on the 2016 SI Swimsuit cover. 

The California native appears on the new cover of Ocean Drive Magazine's 25th anniversary issue, where she pays tribute to the legendary Claudia Schiffer and discusses her experience with SI Swimsuit. 

Mike Rosenthal

Mike Rosenthal
Mike Rosenthal
Mike Rosenthal

On the major impact Sports Illustrated had on her confidence and her career

"I didn't realize how amazing of an experience [working with Sports Illustrated] was going to be until I shot with them. They're a cool, awesome, happy crew to be around, and they've helped me embrace my body. That part alone was amazing. And then once the issue comes out, it gives you a lot more recognition in the mainstream world, so it's definitely changed my name in many amazing ways. I'm very thankful for it."

On an important realization while posing in the Arctic Circle for Sports Illustrated 

"It helped me embrace being myself, come into my own and love myself for me." 

On almost giving up her career as a supermodel

"My body really changed when I was about 17 or 18, like most girls, and I did not fit into sample sizes anymore. I took a year off and let myself be a normal teenager to figure out if I still wanted to do this or not, and I decided I did." 

To see more photos and read the full interview with Hailey, be sure to check out the cover feature online now.