When a rookie model gets a big break, it's always an emotional moment for her. For Danielle Herrington, it was made all the more special by Tyra Banks, who surprised her on camera by telling her that she had landed this year's edition of the most coveted swimsuit cover in the world.

Danielle Herrington models for Sports IllustratedDanielle Herrington models for Sports Illustrated

The 24-year-old thought she was going along to the Sports Illustrated magazine studio for a virtual reality shoot, but what she found when she got there was Tyra Banks with a large print of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 cover featuring Danielle herself.

'I can't even believe I'm saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model', she said. 'I can't wait for everyone to see it. I'm emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this and I'm feeling very accomplished, happy and excited.'

She has already modelled for SI twice; the first time being as part of the Rookie class. The Californian only began her career in 2017, with her first ever shoot taking place in Fiji. For this very special shoot, she was photographed by Ben Watts in Harbour Island, Bahamas.

'She's an extra hard worker and a natural brand ambassador', said SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. 'Danielle was a shy girl, who went from taking her first photos last year to showing up this year a completely different person. All the good things about her seemed to be magnified.'

'She owned every single second of her shoot', MJ continued. 'She had an enthusiasm and effervescence about her - I felt like I was meeting her for the first time.'

Danielle is only the third African-American to appear on the magazines cover after Beyonce and Tyra Banks, so it seemed only fitting that the latter should be the one to break the big news.