Tyra Banks Splashes Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2019 Cover After Coming out of Modeling Retirement

Tyra Banks was revealed as the cover model for this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on Wednesday, with the mogul coming out of modeling retirement for the shoot. Banks covered the publication in a yellow string bikini, with her shoot taking place in Great Exuma, Bahamas.

"My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that," Banks said on Wednesday during an appearance on Good Morning America after the cover's reveal. "I’m like damn — I’m 45, dog!"

Inside the issue, Banks recreated her iconic polka-dot bikini shoot, referencing the suit she wore on her most recent SI cover.

"We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives — it was the polka-dot bikini so we re-created that bikini," she said. "I re-created it — 25 pounds heavier."

Banks added that she's decided to change her professional name to BanX for “X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty.”

She further opened up about breaking stereotypes inside the magazine, telling the publication that she wants to champion women of all ages.

“There is this stereotype that only a 20-year-old woman in a bikini is hot,” the 45-year-old said. “Like, once we reach a certain age, we are no longer desirable. But I want to show that modeling has no age. I’m coming out of retirement to practice what I preach.”

This is Banks' third Sports Illustrated cover — her first was in 1996 alongside Valeria Mazza, and in 1997, she became the first black woman to cover the magazine solo.

"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," Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day said in a statement, via CNN. "She's kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be."

The America's Next Top Model creator's 2019 cover is one of three covers the magazine released this year, with the other two featuring model Camille Kostek and United States women's national soccer team star and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan.

“The three women that make up the covers of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue represent the brand in the most powerful way possible," Day said. "While each individual woman is so unique, they come together cohesively to tell a spectacular story."

“Between these three women and the 31 additional that grace SI Swimsuit 2019, the message is clear. Beauty is synonymous with a lot more than just a pretty face.”


The theme of this year's issue is "Shattering Perceptions," and along with Banks, Kostek and Morgan, the issue also features models including Halima Aden, who wore her hijab and posed in a burkini, gymnast Simone Biles, U.S. Women's National Team member Megan Rapinoe, model Olivia Culpo, skiier Lindsey Vonn, model Hunter McGrady, model Winnie Harlow, Victoria's Secret Angel Barbara Palvin and more, as well as an essay by model and author Paulina Porizkova on ageism in the industry.

Photo Credit: Getty / Gotham