Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973)
is an American actress, television producer, author, television
personality and former model. When Banks was 15 years old, she
started modeling while attending school in Los Angeles. She was
rejected by six modeling agencies before she was signed by L.A.
Models and then switched to Elite Model Management at age 16.
When she got the opportunity to model in Europe, she put college
on hold and moved to Milan. In her first runway season, she was
booked in 25 shows at the 1991 Paris Fashion Week. She would
later appear on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Teen Vogue
and Vogue. She walked the runways for Chanel, Valentino, Fendi
and others. She has featured in advertising campaigns for Dolce
& Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Nike. In
the mid-1990s, Banks returned to America to do more commercial
modeling. She first became famous as a model, appearing twice on
the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working
for Victoria's Secret as one of their original Angels. Banks is
the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show
America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and was the
host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. Banks is one of
four African Americans and seven women to have repeatedly ranked
among the world's most influential people by Time magazine.
has selected Tyra Banks as a fashion celebrity.