Tyra Banks has come out of retirement to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
The model-turned-mogul was the first African American model to appear on the cover back in 1997. Now, more than two decades after she made her cover debut, she’s returned to the magazine that helped make her a star.
“My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that,” Banks told Good Morning America on Wednesday. “I’m like damn — I’m 45 dog!”
“We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives,” Banks said of her original swimsuit worn in 1997. “It was the polka dot bikini so we recreated that bikini. I recreated it [the shoot] — 25 pounds heavier.”
The magazine praised Banks and the growth of her career since that famous cover.
“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,” says SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. “She’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”
Banks is one of three cover models for 2019, including by Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, who is on the USA Soccer team and Camille Kostek, who won the magazine’s 2019 model search.