Shimmying her sun kissed skin in a skimpy, polka dot bikini, Tyra Banks shines her infamous smile into the camera and shouts over the ocean the wind:


“You might recognize this swimsuit. It’s because 22 years ago

I was in the Bahamas and I shot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 

as the first black woman on the 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,”

~ SI Swimsuit Editor, MJ Day. 


Furthermore, the buzz of her rebirth, coined “Introducing Banx” is adding celebrity fuel to the fire of the new models and diverse geographic locations included in the issue. Celebrating a variety of shapes, shades and sizes, these women were intentionally selected to symbolize a new era in the beauty industry. 

Selecting Kenya as a special feature, models were photographed at the renowned Hemingways (Karen) and on serene coastal beaches, styled with accessories of traditional Masaii design and Nairobi-based brands, like Kiumbe Kulture and Jiamini. Halim Adin – a Somali-American model who was born in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya – wears a necklace by Kenyan designer Adele Dejak, making history as the first Sports Illustrated feature to sport a “burkini.”  

To hear more from the magazine Editor and featured models, check out this talk segment provided by BUILD.