Gabriella Halikas Fangirls After Meeting Role Model Ashley Graham: ‘Thank You for Paving the Way for All Us Curvy Women’

The SI Swimsuit models both attended an event for Khloe Kardashian’s clothing brand, Good American.
Gabriella Halikas and Ashley Graham.

Gabriella Halikas and Ashley Graham.

Gabriella Halikas can’t help but fangirl when she comes face-to-face with Ashley Graham, and that's totally understandable. The 35-year-old supermodel was just named Maxim’s 2023 Hot 100 cover star and the world’s sexiest woman.

Halikas, a 2021 Swim Search finalist, and Graham, 2016 SI Swimsuit Issue cover model, met at a Los Angeles-based event for Khloe Kardashian’s clothing brand, Good American.

The 26-year-old left a heartfelt message alongside an Instagram carousel post featuring photos and video of the event, including footage of the two meeting and hugging. Both women have built their platforms around body positivity while advocating for diversity in the industry.

“AM I DREAMINGGGGGG?!?!🥲😭💗they say don’t meet your hero’s… but that’s because they’ve never met @ashleygraham !!!!🥺it’s one thing to meet your idol… but for your idol to know YOU is beyond me,” Halikas wrote, adding that it was one of the “best nights.”

Halikas wore the brand’s denim Fit For Success Jumpsuit ($155).

“This panel was so inspiring and moving for so many reasons. to be surrounded by so many amazing, beautiful women with all such incredible messages, was something i’ll never forget. inclusivity and diversity in this industry is still so needed and something we won’t stop talking about until we see the changes we need to see💪🏼🙌🏼,” the self-proclaimed “CEO of confidence” continued. “@ashleygraham thank you for paving the way for all of us curvy woman, and for being an absolute powerhouse in this industry.🔥🔥 you are the reason why i’m modeling and doing what i’m doing today. without you, i truly wouldn’t be doing this all. so thank you.❤️love u a million!!!! next vision is shooting together, cause that simply would be ICONIC!! ⭐️NEVER STOP DREAMING🦋🙏🏼💫.”

Halikas asked Graham a question while she was on the panel about what wish she knew during the early years of her career. The mom of three said that creating a name in the industry is not just about opening the door, it’s about “keeping the door open.” She added that even with her success and massive platform, Graham still hears “no,” and it’s important to stay focused and learn how to “handle the no.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.