Sports Illustrated model Camille Kostek thanks Instagram for her overnight success

There’s a time of year when undiscovered models have a chance to make it big, thanks to Sports Illustrated and a little bit of help from social media.

Camille Kostek, a former NFL cheerleader and girlfriend of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkwoski, traveled to Belize in November to shoot for the 2018 SI swimsuit edition after her social media campaign launched her to fame.

“Thank you for giving me that platform,” Kostek says about Instagram.

Kostek stopped by The Morning Breath on Wednesday to chat with Jackie and Claudia Oshry about her path to bikinied fame and offers a huge thank-you to the hashtag that made her dreams come true.

A fan of the magazine since her early early teens, Kostek has seen success long before her Sports Illustrated debut. A cheerleader for the New England Patriots through their 2015 Super Bowl win, the East Coast native admits that there was something else calling her attention. “I’ve been to China with the team, I’ve been to the Super Bowl, I was in their calendar.” However, “I want to model and I want to do whatever it takes to be a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.”

In more ways than one, social media has surely helped countless unknown faces rise to the top of the pack in the modeling industry. While some are simply famous for their online presence alone, Sports Illustrated has been harnessing the platform to search for its next star. Kostek entered the Instagram competition to win the attention of M.J. Day, the swimsuit issue director, and immediately received a direct message from the verified SI account that she was on her way to a winter spread.

When people ask the 25-year-old if Instagram is falling into obscurity, Kostek is quick to disagree: “Are you kidding? Don’t you realize I am in the 2018 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue because of a 60-second Instagram video?”