But scouted Shayk was, during a chance meeting with a modeling agent in 2004; by 2005 she was in Paris, and two years later she was appearing in campaigns for Armani Exchange and Guess and gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated. “For me shooting for SI is like being with my family,” she says. “And every time it’s an amazing location: [This year] we shot in the Atacama Desert in Chile. It’s about 3,000 meters above sea level, and it’s the driest desert in the world, composed mainly of salt basins, sand and lava flows. It felt like being on another planet, looking more like Mars than Earth.”

The extensive travel required of Shayk indeed tops the list of reasons she genuinely loves her job; not surprisingly, a favorite stop is Miami. “Last year I spent a lot of time in Miami and fell in love with the lifestyle, the people, the weather,” she reports. “Since it’s only a two-hour flight, it’s great to know I can come for a weekend. Right now my dog is living in Miami, (clarification TK) so I’m in town all the time. I love the W, especially Soleá, and also Toni’s Sushi Bar—that’s probably my favorite. Right now I think I’d miss New York too much, but moving to Miami? It’s possible.”

And with that, Shayk turns back to work—another bikini, another perfect fit for the girl who seems born for the beach. 

Lace-up bikini bottom, Loeffler Randall($125). Barneys Co-Op, 832 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; barneys.com. New York City Skyline necklace, Rodrigo Otazu ($976). otazujewelry.com. Pavé diamond rings,Scott Kay ($4,325 each). Montica Jewelry, 75 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; montica.com. Mystère wedges, Christian Dior ($1,190). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave.; christiandior.com

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