The S.I. Swimsuit issue is looking to break barriers with its FIRST EVER male model finalist … and cover model Camille Kostek tells TMZ Sports she couldn’t be more excited for the move!!

21-year-old Lewis Freese is one of 15 finalists in the “SI Swim Search” … an international competition to bring newcomers to the magazine.

Kostek — who won the same contest in 2018 — raved about Freese’s chances at making history … applauding the publication for its continuous efforts towards inclusion.

“Lewis is the best,” Camille told us at LAX this week. “I’ve been watching through his whole swimsuit journey. It is, like, unbelievable.”

“I had a feeling with just everything that’s evolving and things that are changing. I mean, all walks of life are meant to be celebrated. I had a feeling this was going to happen and I’m so happy it’s Lewis that’s gonna break the mold.”

Camille also has a message for any haters against bringing change to the iconic swim issue … saying it’s time they learned to be with the times.

“If you’re not with it, you’re gonna get left behind because everyone’s got one life to live. Live your authentic self, live your best self.”

“Those people that are the first that are brave enough to do that, I can’t applaud those enough going for it.”

The newest swimsuit issue hits stands in July … and will feature huge names like Kostek, Olivia Culpo, Kate Bock and more.

Camille says she’ll be alongside Freese for his debut photoshoot with SI … and has a bit of advice for the newbie — even though she says he doesn’t need any.

“Own it, baby.” she said. “I saw your video. I’ve been watching you, I’ve been listening to you and I can’t wait to hug you in person.”

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