How Camille Kostek Is On A Mission To Make The World A Better Place, One Dance At A Time

Camille Kostek
SWIMSUIT: Norma Kamali
EARRINGS: Chopard
NECKLACE: Raven Fine Jewelers
BRACELET & RING: Cartier
HEELS: Pierre Hardy

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

Photography: Mark Squires

Styling: Deborah Ferguson

Makeup: Jo Strettell for Serucell Serum/TraceyMattingly.com

Hair: Frank Galasso for Opus Beauty

Shot on location at 22834 Beckledge Terrace, Malibu, CA 90265 via Haute Residence agent Chris Cortazzo

Over the past few months, our world and what we knew and loved as “normal” has been turned upside-down, causing many of us to feel uncertain and uncomfortable. It has also forced us to go outside our comfort zones. At a time when there is so much darkness, it’s never been more imperative to find the people that bring light into the world. To make it through this difficult time and come out better from the experience, we need to readjust our thinking, shift our perspective, and most importantly—love our true selves. There are few people that preach this mentality more authentically than the blonde bombshell supermodel Camille Kostek.

You may know Kostek from gracing the cover of the 2019 issue of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swim, where she submitted herself as a rookie and became the coveted cover girl—an accomplishment that so many girls dream about and so few achieve. Why? Because Kostek is more than just a beautiful supermodel—she radiates beauty from the inside out. And her core values, what she believes in and what she shares with  her followers, is a mindset that all of us can benefit from right now. She wants us to love ourselves and own our self-worth.

From the moment you meet Camille Kostek, you can instantly tell that she is different from so many other people in the modeling and entertainment industries today. It’s not surprising that she so easily stood out from other SI rookies. She evokes realness, genuine kindness and appreciation for others around her. She makes you feel what she is manifesting into her own life so deeply: positivity.

Camille Kostek
SUNGLASSES & SWIMSUIT: Chanel BRACELET: Cartier

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

Like many of us, Kostek found herself struggling to stay positive during the past few months as our country—and most of the world—shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, forcing everyone to go into quarantine at home.

“I’ve definitely realized during this quarantine that I needed a break,” she shares. “I’m not happy that it’s given these circumstances, but I very much preach about taking time for reflection, taking time to be still and realize how far you’ve come. Especially during times of struggle when you feel defeated. Those moments wake you up. It’s been nice to be able to check in on my family, and to spend time with Rob [Gronkowski].”

Kostek is referring to her long-term, NFL player boyfriend, Rob Gronkowski, who recently came out of retirement from the New England Patriots to return to the field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—joining former teammate Tom Brady. They’ve been together for many years, but due to demanding schedules on both of their ends, Kostek notes that this time has been nice to settle into a new routine together.

“We have been learning a lot about each other, as far as common interests. He’ll be my sous chef in the kitchen and we both love to train with each other—he’s even learned some new workouts from me— some dance capabilities—especially with TikTok blowing up during this time. It’s been a really great process and has allowed me to reap what I sow in terms of practicing self-care at home.”

If there’s one thing you need to know about Camille Kostek—aside from her mission to spread positivity throughout the world—it’s that she is literally never not dancing. The catchy hashtag #NeverNotDancing has become a movement in Kostek’s life, a mantra that she wants to spread to others around her. Having been a professional dancer as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots, it has always been a huge part of in her life. But more than that, she loves the joy that comes from dancing. And that joy is something that she feels is so easy to share with others, allowing them to feel the same way.

Camille Kostek
NECKLACE, RING & BRACELET: Cartier DRESS: Agent Provocateur

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

“#NeverNotDancing started out as something where I danced wherever I went, whether there was music or not, whether it was an appropriate place or not—I’m talking about grocery aisles, parking lots, sidelines of football games, photoshoots, wherever. I love to feel the moment and channel my own energy into whatever I’m doing. People just started filming me dancing and I started sharing it on social media and it just turned into a movement that people became attracted to,” she shares.

“I mean, who doesn’t dance in their car? Sing in the shower? It was one of those things where all walks of life can be in on it and dancing is a universal language. It’s cool to repost and share and see all of these people out dancing, celebrating, having a moment. I feel dancing is just like a smile—it’s contagious.”

Kostek certainly danced her way through the quarantine, tapping into the latest new social media obsession, TikTok, to interact with her followers and flood their feeds with her upbeat dance moves.
“A lot of people feel guilty and they are like, ‘How can you dance at this time?’ And I’m just like, ‘You’ve got to. You’ve got to keep that immune system up. Keep that brain going. Keep the body moving.’ So, I 100-percent encourage it, especially during this time. Dancing will get you through!”

Going hand-in-hand with Kostek’s #NeverNotDancing movement is her “Own It Tour.” The sole mission of this tour is to help college students “own it”—own themselves, what they have, and feel confident with who they are and what they look like. Serving as an influential advocate for body positivity and inclusivity, Kostek wanted to reach college students who may be struggling with their inner confidence and help them get to a place where they can confidently “own it.” The tour began small and was limited to the Northeast but has quickly gained momentum with plans to spread throughout the country once schools reopen.

Camille Kostek
SUNGLASSES: Louis Vuitton NECKLACE, RING & BRACELET: Cartier DRESS: Agent Provocateur
BIKINI BOTTOMS: Emporio Armani

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

“The ‘Own It Tour’ stemmed from a lot of situations where I felt that I was being bombarded with negative haters, especially on social media. It incorporates things I’ve practiced and manifested into my own life. It may sound like a lot of positive affirmation crap, but once you start applying it to your life and see and feel the change that it brings, you start to believe in it,” she explains. “The ‘Own It Tour’ is about a lot of things—I want the students to feel like we’re all in this together, not that I’m forcing them to do anything. I’m hoping one day it can become an international thing. It is like my own form of human connection with my followers. 

I specifically felt that college students are going through a vulnerable time—I remember when I was in that point in my life going through my own troubles—whether it was body image or body dysmorphia, or a bad relationship with food, feeling like I was in toxic relationships or not knowing how to get out of a certain mental state when going through a breakup. At that time in your life—it may feel like the end of the world. I touch upon these topics and give them answers from my own experience and truth. I’m not a professional in nutrition and psychology, and I’m very honest about that, but I just want to help open up tough conversations.”

At a time when we are inundated with social media and unrealistic perceptions of what may be considered beautiful or normal, Kostek continues to be a breath of fresh air with her outlook on what that may be defined as—and, to her, that starts with loving yourself.

“The ‘Own It Tour’ is simply about owning it. No matter where you are in life, whether you’re struggling, happy or scared of where you’re going to end up, it’s about taking hold of your own life and thoughts and owning where you are at this point. From there, you can only go up.”

A huge part of accomplishing this is being able to tune out those who are not bringing a positive influence into your life.

Camille Kostek
EARRINGS: Chopard BIKINI BOTTOM: LEX

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

“Haters are always going to hate,” Kostek shares candidly. “It’s said all the time but you know who you are. Your circle knows who you are. And anyone else who wants to try to diminish that or change that opinion or characteristic about you is just wrong. So you just have to try to ignore it. I have no problem with a swipe, delete and block. I absolutely encourage that.”

Knowing everything Kostek represents and the person that she is, it’s no surprise that she was drawn to a company like Sports Illustrated Swim. The brand constantly pushes the norm of what is considered “beautiful” or “sexy” in the modeling industry and strives for inclusivity. That being said, the publication could not align better with Kostek as a person and as a professional. And landing that pivotal cover certainly changed her career forever—in the best way possible.

When speaking to Kostek about it, it’s clear from the emotion in her voice and the look on her face how landing that cover was one of the top, if not the top, most important moments of her career and life.
“Aligning myself with a company like SI Swim and knowing the values they hold and put out there was the number one appeal for me. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a model. It was when I saw their issue come out and I was so impressed with what they were putting out there, and realized what they were embodying was exactly what I embody,” she shares.

“And that’s being inclusive, breaking the mold, being confident. When I saw that magazine, yes, I saw beautiful women, but I saw women who are modern moguls—Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford, Chrissy Teigen, Tyra Banks, Kate Upton, Ashley Graham. When you think of these women, you don’t just see them as a model, but also TV personalities, hosts, activists—and they just go after what they want. They stand proud for what they want. They speak out for what they want, all the while being so beautiful and graceful and that’s what really spoke to me.

Camille Kostek
NECKLACE: Chopard RING: Raven Fine Jewelers SWIMSUIT: Norma Kamali

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

I knew I wanted to use this platform to capitalize on the things I love and represent, like bringing the ‘Own It Tour’ to life. I feel really honored and lucky to have been accepted by them and now to be a face that represents their brand. The greatest goal I wanted to take away from being in SI is I wanted someone to be able to look up to me the way I’ve looked up to their other women. They really allowed me to do that. For that, I am super grateful.”
As we’re talking, we note that it is a special opportunity being able to capture Kostek on the cover of our Haute Living Miami: Swim issue as the event holds such special meaning to her. It was not only a dream of hers to walk in that show one day, but also ended up being the first runway she ever graced in her career.

“As I started to approach the modeling world a few years back, I remember when I sat down with one of the first agents I was hoping to sign with and they asked me what my goals were. I told them I wanted to walk in Miami Swim Week and break into the runway world. And I remember I got an answer I wasn’t ready for. The agents said, ‘You will get into Miami Swim Week when you lose X amount of inches off your thighs, X amount of inches off your waist, X amount of pounds,’ etcetera. It was a surprise. I just thought, ‘I know I can go out there and rock this body as I am right now and love the skin that I’m in.’

“That’s why I feel so grateful that SI took a chance on me, but Miami Swim Week was specifically the first runway show of my career. Miami Swim Week will forever be that breaking the mold moment for me, and above all things, it was for Sports Illustrated Swim. It was my dream job, and my dream goal and something I wanted to do that I was told I couldn’t do. And let me tell you, I didn’t lose any weight for it! I worked out and toned up but I did not hold myself accountable to lose any amount of pounds. So that was a really cool moment to be able to do for myself and hopefully one day, others will get that same moment of success,” she says with a huge smile.

Camille Kostek
NECKLACE: Chopard RING: Raven Fine Jewelers SWIMSUIT: Norma Kamali

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

This moment propelled Kostek even further into her career. Coming up, she has a movie debuting with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy. She’ll be advancing more in her television hosting career, which has always been one of her top career goals. She has a successful jewelry line with Dune Jewelry, where she has taken her love of the beach and swimwear and created a line of everyday accessories that incorporates sand from beaches all over the world inside the pieces—allowing the customers to personalize their necklace or earrings with particles of sand from their favorite beaches. Of course, hers has the sand where she first shot her SI cover.

And she exclusively revealed to us that she will be launching her own swimwear brand in the near future. She’s put together an all-inclusive selection of swimsuits ranging in different colors, patterns, sizes and styles that each complement different body types.

“The goal is to make everybody feel sexy when they walk out on the beach, or when they’re lying in their backyard, or taking a mirror selfie. Hopefully when these suits come out, they feel like your second skin and feel good.”
Camille Kostek has had a whirlwind of success in a short amount of time and it’s clear that she’s only just getting started. However, she continues to remain humble and grateful. She’ll never forget where she came from or how she got started—and there’s no doubt she will pay it forward to others in any way she can.

“I feel like there’s a common denominator with a lot of people who had their breakthrough moment. It’s that One. Big. Yes. It’s that yes you’re working for almost your whole life. For me, MJ Day and the Sports Illustrated Swim team saying ‘yes’ was my moment…that really changed my life,” she says. “That right there allowed me to do everything else that I’ve always dreamt of doing my whole life.”

Do we think Camille Kostek has the power to change the world for the better, one dance at a time? Our answer is yes.

Camille Kostek
NECKLACE, RING & BRACELET: Cartier DRESS: Agent Provocateur

Photo Credit: Mark Squires

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