Tyra Banks Is Opening America’s Next Top Modeling Theme Park
February 6, 2019
It’s Tyra Banks’ world, and now we all can live in it ... or at least stop by for an afternoon.
The model-turned-businesswoman announced on Tuesday that she is set to open Modelland, a 21,000-square-foot, multilevel theme park in Santa Monica, California, to “bring modeling to the masses.”
The permanent attraction, which is preparing to open its doors at the Santa Monica Place shopping mall sometime in late 2019, has apparently been in the works for a decade and might well be the former talk show host’s crowning achievement.
“I created [the TV show “America’s Next Top Model”] to expand the definition of beauty based on my own pain of being told ‘no’ that I couldn’t do something because I’m curvy or I’m black,” Banks told Women’s Wear Daily. “My empathy for women in general increased through the experience. And now with Modelland, I’m taking it 10 steps forward, giving people the opportunity to engage with the elusive world by opening it up to everyone.”
Banks, who faced discrimination at the onset on her career, has more recently sought to pull back the curtain on the world of modeling. She built “America’s Next Top Model” into an international reality TV franchise that plucks young women and men from obscurity and thrusts them into the limelight.
All those who enter Modelland will become “the dream version of themselves,” Banks told WWD. She said she was inspired by attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios and hopes to go global with the concept.
“Modelland is going to be a place where the modeling world meets fantasy, meets entertainment, meets technology, meets retail, meets dining, meets … your fiercest best self you could ever imagine,” she told Variety.
Visitors will choose from such entertainment options as high-end dining, retail and an “elevated social media component” that will celebrate all types of beauty.
Banks’ latest venture is also inspired by her poorly received 2010 young adult fantasy novel of the same name, which boasted characters with names like Tookie De La Crème who attended the Modelland boarding school.