Q&A With SI Swimsuit Legend Tyra Banks

The supermodel returned to the magazine for the 60th anniversary issue in 2024.
Tyra Banks was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Mac Duggal. Shoes by Black Suede Studio. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson.
Tyra Banks was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Mac Duggal. Shoes by Black Suede Studio. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Turning 60 has never looked so good. To celebrate the big milestone in style, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit called upon 27 “Legends”—women of all ages, sizes, tribes and backgrounds—who epitomize trailblazing influence and game-changing impact. 

From supermodel OGs who made their first splash on the magazine’s glossy pages in the 1970s and ’80s to stars newer to the SI Swimsuit sisterhood—the Legends symbolize diversity, inclusivity, empowerment and self-love.  

“The Legends hold the power to represent the collective us,” SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day says. “Each one has played a significant role in the brand’s last 10 years, holding important conversations that have helped shift societal perceptions and led to incredible change for women.” 

The Legends had plenty to say in their one-on-one interviews, held during a three-day SI Swimsuit event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., where photo shoots for the 60th anniversary issue were underway amidst a flurry of glam teams, wardrobe stylists and veteran fashion lensmen. The Legends were unfiltered, funny, wise, compassionate, profound, and at times, searingly honest—proving that a woman’s inner beauty is her most important superpower of all.   

See more from the Legends photo shoot here.

Tyra Banks is a supermodel, television personality, producer and entrepreneur. She made her SI Swimsuit debut in 1993, then made history as the first Black SI Swimsuit cover model in 1996. She returns to the magazine in 2024.

What does being an SI Swimsuit Legend mean to you? 

“Busting down the door so other people can come through.”

What can women do to better empower each other? 

“Use their platforms if they’re in power to lift the next generation up.”

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks was photographed by Yu Tsai in Hollywood, Fla. Dress by Mac Duggal. Shoes by Black Suede Studio. Jewelry by Charlie Lapson. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

What excites you most about your life right now? 

“Having an ice cream company [SMiZE and DREAM] and creating flavors like ‘Butter Pecan, But Betta.’”


Published
Tara Solomon

TARA SOLOMON