Tyra Banks Returns to the Cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue 23 Years Later

Tyra Banks returns to Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue
Photo by OConnor-Arroyo / AFF-USA.com

Tyra Banks is an entrepreneur and a television personality and an activist. And now, this groundbreaking woman has returned to her modeling roots to grace one of the covers of the always popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

“My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that,” an excited Banks said on Good Morning America on Wednesday (May 8.). “I’m like damn — I’m 45 dog!”

Indeed, Banks launched her modeling career back in 1996 when she first starred on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She then returned to the cover in 1997 and made history being the first black woman to grace the cover alone.

“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,” SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day told People magazine in a recent interview. “She’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”

In the shoot, Banks shines in a bikini inspired by the same one she wore on a previous cover.

We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives — it was the polka dot bikini so we recreated that bikini,” Banks said. “I recreated it [the shoot] — 25 pounds heavier.”

Tyra took to Instagram to share the cover and salute the underdog.

“This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough because of their body, their age, their everything,” Tyra writes. “#BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says!
Drop mic now!”

Other cover models for this year’s issue include soccer star Alex Morgan and 2019 SI Swimsuit Rookie Camille Kostek.