Ashley Graham exclusive: How the model prepared for 'Sports Illustrated'

Ashley Graham is the talk of the town after she became the first-ever plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Hello! Online caught up with the brunette beauty at the issue's launch party to find out how she prepared for the momentous shoot.

Dressed in a figure-hugging LBD, the cover girl posed for photos and lapped up the much deserved attention, along with Hailey Clauson and Ronda Rousey who also feature on the magazine's cover.


Ashley attended the event in an LBD

The three cover stars were announced on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 show. The competition, which usually crowns one model as the winner, surprised everyone by giving the honour to three women and Ashley told HELLO! just how it felt to receive one of the crowns.

"Tonight is a true celebration of Sports Illustrated putting three completely different women on the cover. Women who represent power, sex appeal and body," she said.

Read More: 10 things you need to know about Ashley Graham

"Honestly, I don't think you can put one word on each of us because at the end of the day all of us represent all three of those words and I’m just so excited to be celebrating."

Ashley and Hailey posed with their covers

In a purple and yellow bikini, the 27-year-old posed in the sea for the prestigious cover, but how did she prepare herself for the opportunity?

"For the shoot, I didn’t know I was going to be the cover, they don’t tell you, you just shoot. I mean all of a sudden they’re like 'This could be the cover' you have no idea," the American model revealed.

"But I got a spray tan, I went to the gym, I had an apple and then I was practicing poses the Emily DiDonato was doing, and I was like 'This is the Emily pose' this is the 'Irina pose.'"

Fierceness at all times  @lilyaldridge @gigihadid

A video posted by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@theashleygraham) on

Ashley, Gigi and Lily made a fun video

The model, who's into body positivity and inner beauty, has a lot of fans and is adored by many. But which models inspire her?

"In the mag, I really look up to Chrissy Teigen, she works hard, and I want to be represented just like her, in a way that we’re looked at for our personalities, and not just for our outter beauty, but what is inside. I think that she represents that very well."

When asked if there something she could reveal that her Sports Illustrated issue didn't cover, she said: "My favourite TV show is Law and Order SVU. I’ll watch five or six episodes at one time. Netflix!"

The star was joined by models Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge. The three women owned the red carpet and Ashley shared a video of herself with her fellow models on her Instagram, captioning it: "Fierceness at all times."

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