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Chasing the blond-haired, blue-eyed stunner

Bahamian Chase Carter, 20, has been named Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit Rookie 2018. AARON BERNSTEIN/IMG MODELS

Chase Carter is a blond-haired, blue-eyed stunner, and she’s a Bahamian who has been making a name for herself in the world of modeling.

Carter has been a part of Maybelline campaigns. She’s worked for Victoria’s Secret Pink, and has modeled for Ralph Lauren’s fragrance line. She’s even made it to Times Square — three times. She also modeled for Nike for a year and a half, and was featured on the cover of their style guide.

Now her name is a household one at home, after being named the newest Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit Rookie 2018 and doing her photo shoot at home.

Carter, 20, went to a casting call for SI in mid-May and didn’t hear anything until August. She was told she was on hold (industry terminology meaning she wasn’t guaranteed the job, but that the choice would be between her and another model) for a job in The Bahamas for SI Swimsuit.

“I was like they can’t not pick the Bahamian — that would be cruel, that would be mean. So I had my fingers crossed and didn’t hear anything for three weeks. My agents knew straight away that it was confirmed, but they didn’t tell me for three weeks. I came into my agency and everyone was around. They put the Sports Illustrated contract in front of me and I cried.”

Carter was at home the next day shooting for SI.

The 5-foot-10 beauty described the experience as surreal.

“To be honest, I didn’t really feel anything at that particular moment. I was a little numb. I didn’t believe it was real.”

The magnitude of what she was doing hit her during the actual shoot, as she was being photographed with a Bahamian flag. She recalled starting to tear up in that moment, when the realization of how special it was began to sink in.

“[It was] my first ever Sports Illustrated issue, in The Bahamas where I am from. So at that moment I was overwhelmed with emotion,” she said.

The daughter of Mark and Denise Carter, Chase did not set out to be a model. As many stories of successful models can tell how those individuals were discovered while going about their daily lives, Carter was scouted by a random person.

She was 13 when a woman walked up to her in Sydney Airport in Australia. She told Carter she would introduce her to five agencies in New York. At that time, having just entered her teen years, Carter did not take the offer seriously, but the woman lived up to her word. Carter traveled to New York a couple of months after the encounter and met with a couple of agencies. She hit it off with IMG Models and signed a contract.

“The rest is history. I just went with it,” she said.

“It kind of just happened. I didn’t really pre-empt it, or nobody said, ‘Oh, Chase is going to be a model’. I just started modeling just to make money, and one thing led to another, and it really took off. And I’m really blessed for how my career has gone so far.”

Carter’s agency, IMG, represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons. The agency manages the careers of a diverse roster of clients that include 15 of the 20 highest paid models as listed by Forbes, as well as some of the most groundbreaking influencers and advocates in the inclusive fashion space.

Carter said her career has been amazing ever since she signed.

As she looks to the future, she said she sees herself being more of a personality, than just a picture. She said she would even consider moving into non-scripted television or going into broadcasting like her grandfather, Sir Charles Carter, and continuing to do what her family does in The Bahamas, but on a different scale.

She already has her own blog,, which she started because she enjoys writing and she loves sports.

“So why not get off my butt and actually show people I’m not just a model?” she said.

On her blog she mostly talks either football or basketball, as she’s a huge NBA and NFL fan, but she’s willing to tackle any issue that strikes her fancy.

Carter’s favorite team is the Washington Redskins, and football is her favorite sport; her favorite player is the king himself — LeBron James.

The self-professed sports nut played tennis, soccer, softball, and even threw the javelin in high school.

She said that if she could have a dinner with any three people in the world, they would be LeBron James, actor and comedian Kevin Hart and actor and professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

She said she would enjoy taking on The Rock in an arm wrestling competition for fun; she would listen to what Kevin Hart has to say about himself; and talk James’ ears off about sports and how he gets picked on a lot.

Carter finished the last two years of her high school education online, and graduated from K-12 Online International Academy before moving to Australia for two months when she was 17, and then to Los Angeles for six months. She moved to New York just before her 18th birthday.

Her advice to teens looking to break into the modeling industry would be to wait until they are 16, simply because the industry has changed, and it’s been a lot harder to get in when you’re young.

“I started when I was 13 and went straight out into the deep end with it, but they have so many child permit laws nowadays, so just wait until you’re 16. Grow up a little, get a little taller, and just get more of a mindset for it. Because it’s hard. It’s definitely tough. I wouldn’t rush into it. You have your whole life to do it, nowadays,” said Carter.


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