Cris Urena Sports Ilustrated Swimsuit 2014 – 06

Cris Urena Ranked #4 on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit “Rookies” List

Cris Urena wearing Xhilaration for Target swimsuit for SI | Swimsuit photographed by Walter Iooss Jr.

Cris Urena wearing Xhilaration for Target swimsuit for SI | Swimsuit photographed by Walter Iooss Jr.

Dominican beauty Cris Urena comes in at #4 on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit‘s list of 2014 rookies, which is topped by Portuguese model Sara Sampaio at #1, Texan Hannah Ferguson at #2, and British “Blurred Lines” star Emily Ratajkowski at #3. Ranking were generated through open voting.

In a feature titled “The Dominicana of WOO-STAH,” the 22-year-old model speaks briefly on coming from Santo Domingo to Massachusetts and what pushed her into modeling:

“I was born in Santo Domingo, and was about seven or eight when we moves to the States. I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, and went to school there from fifth grade all the way to college. Growing up, everyone would be like, ‘You should be a model,’ but I was like, I don’t know. One day my friends said, ‘There’s a casting and we submitted your pictures. You need to stop wasting your body and get out there.’ One of the agencies responded. About three months later, I moved to New York.”

On not being allowed to view SI as a kid:

“Growing up, I’d always seen the magazine on the stands, but I was never allowed to look at it until I was older.”

On her St. Lucia photo shoot:

“The water was so warm and clear and the sunsets were breathtaking. My shoot took two days, and on the first day I got to interact with the locals, which helps my modeling. It makes me more confident when there’s a crowd. I become inspired by them.”

Getting her big break with Victoria’s Secret, Cris has also starred in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Gap, and Topshop.

Enjoy the gallery of photos from her gorgeous Walter Iooss Jr.-lensed spread below.