5 Iconic Photos of Tyra Banks in the Bahamas in Honor of Her 50th Birthday

Today, we’re throwing it back to her 2019 SI Swimsuit Issue cover feature.
Tyra Banks poses in front of the bright blue ocean in a black and silver one-piece swimsuit and wet hair.

Tyra Banks was photographed by Laretta Houston in Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Today is a big day for the legendary Tyra Banks. The supermodel turns 50-years-old today, and—given her status as an SI Swimsuit icon—we thought it only fitting that we wish her a happy birthday the best way we know how: by highlighting some one of her incredible photoshoots with the brand.

Though she made her debut in 1993, Banks has returned to the annual issue several times since, including as recently as 2019. That year, she landed the cover of the magazine (having first graced it in 1996), taking the coveted spot in a fabulous snap from her photoshoot in Great Exuma, Bahamas with photographer Laretta Houston. 

She briefly came out of retirement to accompany the SI Swimsuit team to the tropical destination. But, we have to say, the way the photos turned out, you never would’ve guessed that modeling was no longer her full-time job.

Banks’s first cover experience was a history-making one, too. She was the first Black woman to pose solo on the cover of the issue in 1997.

“Being the first Black woman on the cover, I didn’t dream it because I never thought it was possible,” she reflected while on set in 2019. “Almost like this—I never thought it’d be possible—I’m 45 years old [and] covering this magazine again.”

While she may not have believed it possible, Banks made sure to bring her absolute best to the set of her cover photoshoots. Today, in honor of her milestone birthday, we’re taking a look back at her most recent cover with the brand. Here are a few of the iconic snaps.

Tyra Banks lays on the sand in a black bikini top and cheetah print bottoms.
Tyra Banks stands in the shallow ocean water in a bright purple bikini set.
Tyra Banks poses in the blue water in a yellow ruched bikini.
Tyra banks poses with her arms outstretched, wearing a rust-colored bikini and a lace coverup.

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Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.