Sports Illustrated's Ashley Graham on looking up to Chrissy Teigen and practicing her 'Irina' pose

By Tionah Lee

Ashley Graham is having a major moment and owning it! The 28-year-old, who recently became the first plus-sized model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, has become one of the most admired women in fashion.

Prior to becoming a role model herself, she also has models she admires. "I really look up to Chrissy Tiegen," Ashley told HELLO!. "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 outer beauty, but what's inside. I think that she represents that very well."

Ashley admires fellow Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen Photo: Getty Images

During the New York City Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch on Tuesday, Ashley was the lady of the hour as she stunned in a black dress that fit her to perfection. "Tonight is a true celebration of Sports Illustrated putting three completely different women on the cover," she shared about her big moment, which she proudly shares with Hailey Clauson and Ronda Rousey. "Women who represent power, sex appeal and body."

When it came down to prepping for her big shoot, Ashley made sure she had the right snack and poses when she hit the beach in Turks & Caicos to create the history-making shot. "I got a spray tan, I went to the gym, I had an apple," Ashely shared. "Then I was practicing poses that Emily DiDonato was doing and I was like 'This is the Emily pose, this is the Irina [Shayk] pose.'"

Ashley and fellow cover girl Hailey Clauston showed off their sexy covers Photo: Getty Images

Cover star Hailey Clauson also shared her technique for getting in shape for the shoot. "I worked out really, really hard," the 20-year-old who shot in Turks & Caicos shared with HELLO! "I love boxing and was eating healthy. I stuck to a really clean diet and just stayed strict with myself, but the day after, I had a lot of good food."

Ashley, Ronda and Hailey each have a cover for this year's swimsuit edition Photo: TNT

The California girl continued: "All week it’s just been like a whirlwind, now we can just sit back and be like ‘okay it’s happening, everyone is here to celebrate, we are celebrating all of the amazing things that just happened and all of the barriers we just broke. There’s a lot to celebrate."

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