Back in 2005 Tyra Banks shocked the world when she walked away from renewing her Victoria’s Secret contract, and announced that she’d decided to retire from the world of modeling to focus on her television career. From The Tyra Banks Show to America’s Next Top Model, Banks managed to keep herself in the spotlight, despite stepping away from being a model herself. Now however she’s gone back to something that got her a lot of attention over two decades ago. Covering Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
In 1997 Banks became the first black woman to cover the magazine by herself. While she was on the cover in 1996 as well, it was with model Valeria Mazza. This year will mark the third over all cover for the 45 year old, and by the looks of things she hasn’t lost a step.
The photo shoot was photographed in Great Exuma, Bahamas, by Laretta Houston. For the cover she is wearing a yellow Andi Bagus string bikini. Banks herself revealed the cover this morning on Good Morning America, and during the reveal she said “My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that. I’m like damn — I’m 45 dog!”
In a released statement, SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day said “Since Tyra’s first cover in 1996, she’s transformed herself into nothing less than a mogul, a cultural force and a supernova of inspiration and empowerment. “she’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”
Banks isn’t the only one covering the annual issue though. There are three covers total, with soccer star Alex Warren and model Camille Kostek posing for the other two. The 2019 edition of the issue features 34 diverse women, and this year has a theme of “Shattering Perceptions” that aims to “redefine the cultural conversation around beauty by celebrating a diverse group of women.” Barbara Palvin, Hunter McGrady, Jasmine Sanders, Lindsey Vonn, Olivia Culpo, Simone Biles, Winnie Harlow and Halima Aden are just some of the women featured in the issue.
SI Swimsuit is available on newsstands today.