The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
Angel Reese and Olivia “Livvy” Dunne aren’t the only Baton Rouge folks in the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Baton Rouge native Brooks Nader is one of four models to grace this year’s cover.
Nader, 26, attended University High and then graduated from Episcopal High in 2015. She is one of four models selected for the cover this year, along with Martha Stewart, Megan Fox and Kim Petras.
“Every model dreams and hopes of being in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition,” Nader said. “Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Kathy Ireland, Rachel Hunter, Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian — all the biggest icons in the industry. I’m in incredible company. I’m just so happy.”
Nader won the Sports Illustrated Swim Search open casting call competition back in 2019 and has been a part of the swimsuit edition each year since. This is her first cover for the iconic issue.
A total of 28 women are featured in this year’s swimsuit edition.
As Nader was leaving the CBS Studio in New York, she took time to speak with The Advocate, her hometown newspaper.
“I was at the Today Show and told them, ‘I gotta go! I’ve got to talk with The Advocate!'” she said. “I love my Louisiana peeps, and I’m so happy to represent them on the cover.”
After Nader graduated from Episcopal High, she headed to Tulane to study finance. After her freshman year, she earned a summer internship in New York. Her parents balked at the idea of figuring out living arrangements in New York City, but a Tulane friend invited her to live with her family for the summer.
“I had been to New York City on a sixth grade field trip. I was obsessed with the city and couldn’t wait to get there,” Nader said.
A modeling agent scouted her that summer as she and a friend were at the members-only Soho Club in New York City’s Meatpacking District.
“I decided not to go back after my sophomore year,” she said. “My parents said, ‘Here’s $100 bucks. Good luck. We’ll see you in six weeks.’ They never dreamed it would work out, but it has!”
She said it didn’t take her long to figure out the angles involved in modeling and which was her best side — and her career took off.
“I think modeling is a great way to express yourself and be creative,” she said. “I love seeing beautiful images. People are starting to care more about personalities. Modeling is moving in an incredible direction.”
Her father, Breaux Nader, and her mother, Holland Nader, are in New York with their oldest daughter as she celebrates the day. She says they have been pleased about her modeling career working out so well.
“My mom is a school nurse at St. James, and my dad works in wealth management at his own company,” she said. “My parents are here right now. They love New York.”
Holland Nader confirmed what a great time she was having celebrating with her daughter. By Monday afternoon, mother and daughter were having a cocktail at The Plaza.
“She just gave away her first signed copy,” Holland Nader said. “It’s been so fun. All day long, when we’ve walked in places she’s said to the waiter or the doorman, ‘You wanna see something?’ and pulled out the magazine — because it doesn’t come out until Thursday. When she showed it to the waiter, he said, ‘You have to give it to me because you’ll never come back!'”
Brooks Nader signed the magazine and gave it to Nicholas Nathani, the waiter.
Beyond being in her fifth Sports Illustrated issue, she’s also modeled for the world’s top agencies and brands, including CoverGirl, Bobby Brown, L’Oréal, Glossier, Armani, Urban Outfitters, Lancôme, Fila, Nike and more.
“(I’ve) been lucky enough to model with incredible brands,” Brooks Nader said.
She has a million followers on Instagram and says she is enjoying getting into television and acting.
Her three younger sisters, Mary Holland, 24; Grace Ann, 23; and Sarah Jane, 21, are living with her in the city. Grace Ann Nader and Sarah Jane Nader are also models with the Ford Modeling agency.
Brooks Nader says she and her sisters are working together on a project that’s still under wraps, but that those interested should “Watch out for me and my sisters on the TV screen. We’ll be there!”
Nader and her sisters spent their younger years in Maringouin, population 996.
“Maringouin means mosquito,” she said. “That’s where we were born, between two bayous.”
Holland Nader grew up in the small town of Maringouin. When asked if she too had been a model, the supermodel’s mother replied, “Well, I showed cattle with the 4-H.”
Brooks Nader will be throwing the first pitch at the Mets game Tuesday and ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. The Nader family plans to spend the week together celebrating, and will join Brooks at Sports Illustrated’s launch party Thursday evening in New York and Friday in Miami. The magazine will be on the stands Thursday.
“Such a whirlwind. So fun,” Holland Nader said. “I can and I can’t believe it. She’s always been so driven — just a force. She deserves it. She’s a great leader for her sisters. She’s paving the way for them. I love (that) our girls are all together. One of our mottos is ‘Take care of your sisters,’ — and that’s what she’s doing.”
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