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SI Swimsuit alumna Cris Urena double-dipped during her debut with the magazine in 2014. The Dominican Republic-born model, who grew up in Massachusetts, was photographed twice by Walter Iooss Jr. in St. Lucia: once in a series of fun, colorful and groovy swimsuits, and again in nothing but bodypaint.
With the help of artist Joanne Gair, Urena donned a yellow-and-white checkered one-piece that left half her torso, chest, shoulders and arms completely bare except for two suspender-style painted-on straps.
The 32-year-old entered the industry in 2011, when her friends secretly submitted photos of her to modeling agencies in New York City. In just a few months, she signed with an agency and landed in the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. Urena has since starred in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, MAC Cosmetics, Topshop and DKNY.
The mom of three shares her kids with husband Matthew Hechter. She attended nursing school and worked as a part-time medical assistant before switching to full-time modeling.
“I wanted to scream,” Urena recalled about when she got the news of her SI Swimsuit gig. “Sports Illustrated takes every girl’s career to another level. It opens opportunities and allows people to get to know you worldwide. I just want my career to keep growing, make a name and a brand for myself from all the opportunities I have been able to have with this career. [I want to just] take it further.”
Below are four daring photos from her 2014 bodypaint photoshoot in St. Lucia.