- Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
- Tyra Banks is Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2019 cover model.
- In the photo, which was taken by photographer Laretta Houston, Banks sports a yellow string bikini, beachy waves, and her signature smize.
- The 45-year-old model came out of retirement 22 years after becoming the first black model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue on her own.
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In 1997, Tyra Banks became the first black model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue on her own. Now, at 45 years old, the supermodel and media mogul has once again reclaimed the coveted cover spot.
Photographer Laretta Houston captured Banks posing in a yellow string bikini on the beaches of the Bahamas for the 2019 cover shoot. Banks wore her hair in long, beachy waves and sported her signature smize for the cover photo.
TYRA! TYRA! TYRA!
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) May 8, 2019
Fans of the former “America’s Next Top Model” judge applauded her modeling return on social media.
Tyra Banks was the first black woman to grace the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in 1997 solo, and now she's doing it again for the 2019 cover. The black is not cracking! pic.twitter.com/szVDY331Rv
— Michael Blackmon (@blackmon) May 8, 2019
legit thought this was the cover from the 90s. Go @tyrabanks!
— Ryan McGrath (@rmcgrath732) May 8, 2019
Yassss Tyra Banks!!!! 45 and still killing it pic.twitter.com/9ZVlTrlxS5
— Niki ???????????? (@annikita_kay) May 8, 2019
“Tyra Banks is the epitome of what we hope for all the women who are a part of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit,” editor MJ Day told Sports Illustrated. “What she has achieved so far in her career is extraordinary. She has parlayed a modeling career into phenomenal success that spans multiple industries and resonates with people on a global scale. She has refused to be singularly defined and is constantly working to inspire everyone within her reach.”
Banks first appeared in the SI Swimsuit issue in 1993. Three years later, she and fellow model Valeria Mazza posed back-to-back in matching leopard bikinis for the 1996 Swimsuit cover. Banks’ iconic 1997 cover photo taken in Harbour Island, Bahamas, featured the then-23-year-old posing in a red two-piece swimsuit with pink polka dots.
— Ser Fonz ???? (@fonzfranc) May 8, 2019
Sports Illustrated did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for further comment.
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