'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Model Hailey Clauson Takes PEOPLE Behind the Scenes of Her Shoot (Exclusive)

'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Model Hailey Clauson Takes PEOPLE Behind the Scenes of Her Shoot (Exclusive)
Hailey Clauson for 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit'

Hailey Clauson, 28, is no stranger to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. In fact, in 2016, she was one of the magazine's cover stars in her third year as part of the swim special.

The model, who's also worked with high-end designers like Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace and Diane von Furstenberg, has also taken on the role of creative director and co-owner at the modeling agency Margaux. In this role, she's looking to create a safe space for models and champion age, body, culture, sexuality and gender identity inclusivity.

Ahead, Clauson takes PEOPLE inside her dreamy photoshoot day with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at everything that went into this year's spread. See it all — in her own words!

Fitting Polaroids!

"The night before the shoot I try on a bunch of swimsuits. They usually narrow down the looks in half, so we only shoot our favorite swimsuits. I love that they still do the fitting photos on a Polaroid camera. The fitting is always so much fun! It's just me and some the team from SI. Lots of laughing and fun!"

A Warm Welcome

"After a two-hour drive with non-stop rain, we arrived to our shoot location. The sun was out and we were greeted with fresh juice and coconuts. It was a perfect start to the day!"

Ready, Set, Glam!

"Getting last-minute touchups from the fabulous makeup artist Tracy Murphy before my first shot of the day! She is always making sure I'm looking my best while I'm rolling around in the sand, getting crushed by waves and sweating in the humid weather. Some beauty products Tracy and I love for a shoot: Chebula Extreme Cream by True Botanicals for a great moisturizer, Intensive Eye Care Day & Night Eye Cream by QMS Medicosmetics, Maifanshi Moisture Foundation by Koh Gen Do and Matte Bronzer by Milk Makeup."

'90s Bombshell Vibes

"Hair and makeup ready! Adam Maclay did the hair and he did not disappoint. We were going for Brigette Bardot meets '90s Pamela Anderson vibes. For hair, Adam and I love to use René Furterer products: Style Blowout Balm, Style Finishing Spray, Style Texture Spray."

Behind the Scenes

"On set with photographer James Macari while listening to '90s hip-hop — the vibe on set is so much fun! There is a huge team behind the images you see in the magazine. I did not wake up like this! LOL! Fun fact: James shot my SI Swimsuit cover back in 2016."

Dream Team

"Taking a golf cart to our next shot! Having the best time with the best crew — Tracy, Adam, Margot from Sports Illustrated, and SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day."

Selfies and Snacks

"Getting in some selfies between shots! Got to get that content when I can! I'm also snacking on my favorite Hu Kitchen dark chocolate bars and Simple Mills crackers that are made with almond flour. So good!"

Tropical Paradise

"I can't get over how amazing this location in Tropicalia, Dominican Republic, was! We were lucky enough to have a private beach completely to ourselves."

That's a Wrap!

"That's a wrap! Here is a little selfie with MJ Day. I have known MJ since I was 18 years old and we have traveled all around the world shooting Sports Illustrated. I am so thankful for all the amazing memories we share together."

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit veteran Hailey Clauson finds herself in the magazine for the seventh time in 2023, and this year she brought PEOPLE along for her photoshoot.