Tyra Banks has made quite the comeback. The supermodel first appeared on the cover of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1993 alongside Valeria Mazza, and she went on to make history as the first black model with a solo cover three years later. Now, Tyra has come out of retirement to grace the cover once again at 45.
"I never thought it'd be possible: I'm 45 years old on the cover of this magazine again."
In addition to the teeny yellow Andi Bagus bikini she's wearing on the cover, for the expansive spread, Tyra also slipped into a red-and-pink polka-dot bikini nearly identical to the one she wore on her solo cover in 1996. In a behind-the-scenes video taken at the shoot, Tyra said, "Being the first black woman on the cover, I didn't dream it because I never thought it was possible." She added, "Almost like this, I never thought it'd be possible: I'm 45 years old on the cover of this magazine again."
Though her modeling skills have always remained on point, Tyra said her curvier physique made the shoot a little different this time around. On having "more stuff to work with," Tyra said, "At first it was a little bit more difficult, but after the first shot I was like, I got this."
Tyra is one of three cover stars this year, along with soccer star Alex Morgan and the magazine's rookie of the year, Camille Kostek. Including women of many different careers and backgrounds, the theme for the 2019 Swimsuit Issue is "Shattering Perceptions." In addition to featuring its first Polynesian model, Veronica Pome'e, Sports Illustrated has also highlighted 53-year-old model Paulina Porizkova and Muslim model Halima Aden, who wore a hijab and burkini for her photo shoot.
Ahead, see Tyra's striking cover and other photos from her vibrant shoot.