'90s Style File: Tyra Banks

Photo: GETTY
The proper definition of the verb "smize", according to Urban Dictionary is: "Smiling with your eyes." To those already au fait with Tyra Banks, not as a person, but as a powerhouse, you'll know that "smizing" is more than a squint; it's an attitude, it's a statement, it's Tyra Freaking Banks. Never has a woman said so much with her eyes.

Tyra Banks was discovered aged 15. She was the first African American woman to bag a GQ cover and grace the front page of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Twice. A true supermodel and an original Victoria's Secret Angel, born and raised in California, Tyra is actually 14% British, 6% Native American and 80% African American.

In 2003 America's Next Top Model hit our screens and we fell in love with her all over again. When she cried we cried, when she laughed we laughed, and we recoiled, eyes-wide open, hand gently pressed to our necks in disbelief, when a wannabe model dared challenge her.

At 42 years old, Tyra Banks is still every inch a goddess, but our hearts are hopelessly devoted to '90s Tyra. Tyra's back-in-the-day style is worthy of a temperature controlled archive somewhere underground, but until we can find the finances that would require, we've compiled a digital flick book of Tyra Banks' finest '90s moments. No one looks quite as epic in a beret.
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Photo: GETTY
At the 13th Annual Soul Train Music Awards (that sounds like a pretty decent bash) Tyra stunned in a slinky crystal slip and pretty much nothing else.
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Pictured here in 1999 in a chic black halter-neck and XL hoops, looking every inch the super-super model she is.
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At The 70th Academy Awards in a strapless column dress and co-ordinating sash. Bring back the sash!
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Ty in a T-shirt that says her name, because, why not?
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Was there ever a more All-American girl next door picture than this, of Tyra Banks in a backwards baseball cap, striped crop top and mid-wash jeans in 1997?
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This '60s do and retro shift dress get a '90s kick in the shape of some suede just-under-the-knee boots.
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Here she is at the screening of Beverly Hills Cops 3. Though we can't testify that the movie is a masterpiece, having never watched it, Tyra is giving us a masterclass in looking too cool for the red carpet, in a bohemian embroidered blouse and mum jeans.
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Holy Cow. Tyra in some fishnet, in the back of a limo. We adore her hair short.
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The aforementioned beret, worn here with a boyfriend leather jacket and strappy sandals. Perfection.
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Slides, a white tee, backwards cap and Levi's. That whole thing about fashion being cyclical...
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We had to feature an airport get-up in here for good measure. We dig the aerobics leggings and chunky white trainers, and the Matrix sunglasses are legit.
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Photo: GETTY
Sorry lovely lady behind Tyra, but hello Ms Banks. That eye makeup. That wet look hair. The asymmetric gown. We kneel before her.
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