Tyra Banks has made a groundbreaking comeback to modelling. The 45-year-old supermodel is the cover girl of the summer 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She first appeared on the pages of the magazine in 1993. She was also on the cover in 1996 with fellow model Valeria Mazza.
A year later, in 1997, she made history as the first black woman to ever be on the cover of the magazine solo. Now, 2019 marks 22 years after her iconic 1997 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. Banks just made the ultimate comeback.
This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough because of their body, their age, their everything. #BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says!
Drop mic now!@SI_Swimsuit 2019 pic.twitter.com/bgUqGunhAe
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) May 8, 2019
On the cover, the media mogul wears an Andi Bagus bikini, sporting her signature smize. Laretta Houston photographed the shoot. She had been discovered on Instagram by Tyra Banks who says she is obsessed with giving people their firsts too. This is in reference to her being the first black woman on the SI magazine cover in 1997. Laretta became the first black woman to shoot an SI Swimsuit cover.
In the interview she said:
“I am obsessed with firsts,” Banks says. “I was obsessed with it for myself, and now I am obsessed with firsts for everyone.”
She also added,
“I feel like my mission in life is to open doors for other people, and to get them in places that they probably couldn’t get to on their own. We all need a little help. My momma was my boost, and I hope to be that for so many people.
“So, I spoke to MJ [Day], the editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and I said, ‘MJ, you guys changed my life. Twenty-two years ago, you put me on that cover and then you put me on again. Overnight, it changed my life. It gave me such a powerful platform, and now I want to change somebody’s life.
“‘I want us to find an African-American, female photographer.’ So, she started on her side, I started, and she says, ‘Tyra, this is ridiculous, because why am I searching this hard? This is ridiculous.’ So, then I went to the internet and I went to social media and I was googling, and clicking and searching and Instagramming, and came upon Laretta Houston.”
Tyra Banks retired from modelling in 2005. This was after walking in her final Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Since then, she has turned into a media mogul and also became a mother to a baby boy named York Banks Asla in 2016. Names like “The Tyra Banks Show”, “American’s Next Top Model” and cosmetic company “Tyra Beauty” are some of her successes.
Since becoming the first black woman on the cover, Tyra Banks is now a mogul and an inspiration.
“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,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “She’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”
Check other pictures below:
All photos: Swimsuit 2019: Exuma Tyra Banks Exuma, Bahamas 2/19/2019 X162471 TK4
Photo credit: Laretta Houston