The identities of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models are a closely guarded secret — the chosen few are sworn to silence until the magazine’s debut — but West Vancouver’s Kate Bock blew that silence right off the bat.
The globe-trotting model was back home riding in a car with her sister and her cousin last August when she got the phone call saying she was one of four “rookies” chosen to take part in beachside bikini shoots around the world.
“We were all screaming in the car together,” Bock says. “We got to enjoy that moment.
“They heard me on the phone. They were going, ‘What is happening?’ We were dancing around. I spilled the beans on that one, but they kept it quiet.”
The swimsuit edition is the sports mag’s annual best-seller, and has been a launch pad for some of modelling’s biggest superstars.
Bock left B.C. more than seven years ago after graduating from West Van secondary school, living first in Paris and then in New York as her modelling career took off.
For the early-November shoot, Bock left New York, just as Hurricane Sandy as approaching the U.S. eastern seaboard, to meet photographer David Burton and his crew on Chile’s remote Easter Island. She ended up on location a day late and shot for two-and-a-half days.
In addition to a rack of bathing suits, the props included a couple of horses, on which Bock had to look natural and relaxed while wearing microscopic swimwear. Bock’s photos have her upstaging the remote island’s famous giant-head rock carvings.
Unlike most modelling jobs, an SI swimsuit shoot is about showcasing the model — not the product.
“It’s one of the most exciting jobs in this industry, a huge platform,” she says. “You get to be yourself.
“They’re printing my name and my story, rather than me representing a brand or a label.”
As they worked, the New York-based crew wondered whether the big storm had taken out their apartment homes.
“We didn’t have Internet or cell-phone service,” she says. “They had one laptop in the hotel lobby.
“A crazy experience in a faraway land.”