1 of 10
New York native Tyson Beckford was discovered by a talent scout in 1992 while hanging out in a city park. Just one year later he was booked as the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo men’s sportswear line.
By Qianna Smith
2 of 10
“I think I was born (to be a supermodel), honestly. When I was coming up, I didn’t have a guy or a mentor that I looked up to. I just went in there and did it and they told me what to do, you know. But I started off as an actor, so if you told me to act like a supermodel, I could do it,” shares Tyson.
3 of 10 Bravo
Bravo’s series “Make Me A Supermodel” returns for a second season March 4 at 10 P.M. EST with host Tyson Beckford and model mentor Nicole Trunifo. Get the scoop from this top male model on what it takes to make it on the catwalk.
4 of 10 Bravo
Tyson shares some model wisdom with 3 of the 16 contestants from the show, who are competing for $100,000 prize, a contract with New York Model Management, a fashion pictorial in Cosmopolitan magazine and the chance to become the next great supermodel.
5 of 10 Getty
“If you’ve got swagger you can pretty much go into anything from a board meeting to a football tryout to an audition," notes Tyson. “It separates you from everyone else. It’s basically having personality with everything you do; the way you walk, the way you carry yourself—that’s swagger—and that’s what I try to teach [the contestants on the show]. You’ve got to separate yourself from the other guy.”
6 of 10 Getty
Tyson Beckford commands the catwalk during the Fashion For Relief fashion show at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009. Fashion For Relief is a charity fashion show and auction organized by supermodel Naomi Campbell.
7 of 10 people.com
With chiseled abs and piercing eyes, it’s no wonder Tyson was named one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World last year.
8 of 10 Getty
The Black Italian Vogue released July of last year shed some much needed light on the lack of Black models on the runways. Tyson Beckford struts his stuff on the catwalk of the Dsquared2 show in Milan, which showcased a variety of models of color donning pieces from their spring 2009 collection.
9 of 10 Fernando Colon
Black model power rules the runway at the first-ever African-designer showcase that took place at New York Fashion Week where THIS DAY/ARISE Magazine’s presented the African Collective 2009. Supermodels Alek Wek and Tyson Beckford look gorgeous together wearing the finest fashions for fall 2009.
10 of 10 Jennifer Cooper
“A lot of advertisers would rather go use someone else before they use a Black model, so it’s hard on us but we’re pushing through," says Tyson. “I’ve survived 16 years of it and I think it’s only going to get better now.”
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!