Surprise! JooJoo Hwang has gone from #SISwimSearch contestant to rookie in just a few months.

By Xandria James
November 07, 2019

The latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2020 rookie may look a little familiar! We first introduced you to the beautiful JooJoo Hwang this summer as one of our 17 Model Search finalists, but we loved her so much, we just couldn’t wait to make her an official member of our family. That's right, here at SI Swimsuit we are full of surprises!

"#SISwimSearch has brought a wealth of upcoming stars to our attention over the years," said SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. "So much so that one, Camille Kostek, has ended up on the cover. This year was no different.

"An incredibly impressive group of women turned out in Miami this past July in hopes of joining the ranks of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit," she continued. "One of these women was someone who not only impressed the team of current SI models, who were deeply involved in the selection process, but the editors and photographer Yu Tsai as well. JooJoo is a well established model who’s worked with brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Anthropologie, Aritzia and Express, just to name a few, and wowed all of us in Miami. From her passion for the brand to her messaging and incredible talent, we all felt very strongly that JooJoo belonged in the 2020 rookie class. I love that women of her caliber look to this brand as a place to share their stories, use their voice, shine and grow. That is the beauty of model search — it gives anyone who is willing to put themselves out there an opportunity."

ICYMI, JooJoo truly wowed us at our third-annual, in-person open casting call this July. The Korean beauty proved that she has star-potential while strutting her stuff during SI Swimsuit’s Miami Swim Week runway show. To say she shone would be an understatement! 

“As a woman born and raised in Korea, I was educated to be virtuous and conservative,” JooJoo told SI Swimsuit. “However, this project ignited something inside myself. Through my experience at the SI Swimsuit model search, I developed a new sense of confidence and a desire to fight for our right to be beautiful and sexy women.”

JooJoo went on to add that she hopes to break down stereotypes for Asian women, especially in her home country.

“I hope this message reaches Korea: tell every woman that being sexy and confident about your body is a beautiful thing, not something to be judged,” JooJoo said.

Now that is a powerful message that we definitely support!

From lining up at 5:30am outside of the W South Beach with hundreds of other #SISwimSearch hopefuls, to being named as a SI Swimsuit 2020 rookie just a few months later, we are so excited to see JooJoo live out her dream. And she gets to do it all in Bali with photographer Yu Tsai! It doesn't get more perfect than that. 

Celebrate JooJoo’s big news by following along on Instagram to catch all of the behind-the-scenes action from her rookie shoot.

See some of JooJoo’s best Instagram photos:


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