Original Publish Date: 12/4/2022
Tyra Banks has made herself a household name in modeling and entertainment ever since she began hitting the runway at 15. Her start wasn’t easy since there weren’t many Black supermodels, but she was able to prove herself in the industry. Banks was the first African American model to grace the cover solo on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and GQ. She appeared in both prestigious magazines three times, including her modeling comeback on SI in 2019. She announced her retirement from modeling in 2005 at 32 years old.
Besides her coveted magazine covers, the model has an immaculate stage presence on the runway. Banks was a Victoria’s Secret model from 1997-2005 and walked down runways worldwide. The California star also created a name for herself in television and film with her role in the movie Lifesize starring Lindsey Lohan, guest starring on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alongside Will Smith, and the creation of the reality show America’s Next Top Model as well as her self-titled daytime talk show.
Now, Banks is set on what’s next in her flourishing career as a successful businesswoman. The former model has finally opened her theme park called Modelland, which shares the same title as her 2011 memoir.
“For so long, I’ve been describing ModelLand as an immersive experience,” Banks told WWD last year. “In our final night of rehearsals, someone told me they felt it was beyond an immersive experience; that it was interactive and that they had no idea how much the show is truly about the guests that come.”
The interactive theme park is located in Santa Monica.
As Banks turns 50 this year, she has reflected on her life as a model and how Kim Kardashian convinced her to model in her underwear for SKIMS in 2022.
“That’s a businesswoman,” Banks said of Kardashian on James Corden’s The Late Late Show. “She broke it down left, right, center. I got off the phone, talked to my mama and my mama was like, ‘Kim is right, you crazy. Get your a– in them panties right now.’”
Banks appeared alongside other model icons, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Candice Swanepoel.
While Tyra is off building her empire and serving looks, check out her hottest runway moments and best red carpet appearances through the years below: