The stunning black and white photos were shot by Taylor Ballantyne for the magazine's '' project, which marks the 'evolution' of the iconic Issue in the light of the ongoing push for women's equality.
This is only Lais' second year posing for the magazine after making her debut as a rookie last year.
She said people were angry that she showed too much skin, and she was asked whether she was a golfer or model 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is iconic,' she told magazine.
She has made concerted efforts to embrace a much more diverse cast of Swimsuit stars, explaining to that she hopes to continue diversifying the magazine beyond the rather narrow standards of beauty that it once embraced and celebrated.
And while the model returns to the publication, she will no doubt serve as an inspiration to this year's group of Rookies, which includes the likes of Christie Brinkley's daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook, as well as Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren, and Anne de Paula, Chase Carter, Georgia Gibbs, Jasmyn Wilkins, Kate Wasley, Raven Lyn, and Robin Holzke.