Finally, A Bit More Clarity on Tyra Banks's Upcoming Modelland Experience... Center

Illustration for article titled Finally, A Bit More Clarity on Tyra Banks's Upcoming Modelland Experience... Center
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Earlier this year, Tyra Banks announced Modelland, a forthcoming... thing. It’s a place but also “a movement,” and a “multi-level ticketed attraction” yet “a place to feel emotion.” Banks promised “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.” It sounds like a mall that you have to pay to get into and is populated with people insincerely complimenting you on your modeling potential? It’s very confusing. It’s set to open in Santa Monica later this year.

In a new interview with Wall Street Journal, Banks shed slightly more light on this synthetic environment where everyone is a model (which clearly means that no one is). In addition to all the things Banks has says Modelland is (without really explaining what this thing is), it is now “my baby that hasn’t been born yet but she is due at the end of this year.”

Banks continued:

“Modelland is a location-based attraction where you can be a model for a day…and I don’t mean a professional model. I’m talking about families, mamas, daddies, cousins, uncles, sisters, bridal showers, stag parties can come to Modelland and have fun and be the fantasy versions of themselves.”


Imagine the stag parties. Now that learning how to smize, modeling H2T, and being reminded of your innate fierceness by randos are all purchasable, strip clubs are sure to go out of business.

Banks also claimed that she has Disney Imagineers, as well as people from Cirque du Soleil and the New York-based immersive theater experience Sleep No More working with her on this. Sounds wild.

Plenty of other topics were covered in the interview, like Banks’s class at Stanford and whether she found Paris to be as racist as the U.S. when she arrived there to model in her teen years. Great Tyraisms abound, among them: “Difference is better than better,” “I’m not into money, I’m into legacy,” and “It’s not called fashion fun time, it’s called fashion business” (the last, a quote from her mother). She also briefly touches on her years-long tension with Naomi Campbell, which she declines to describe as a rivalry because, “I’m very sensitive to that word because a rivalry is with two equals to me, whereas one was very dominant.” She’s gotten so much mileage out of that feud; I cannot wait to go on the Modelland dark ride that takes us on a hallucinatory trip back in time through her entire narrative with Campbell. Imagine the animatronic fierceness.

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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This sounds like my worst nightmare. That being said, the first time I went to the Masque of the Red Death in London in 2007 (a similarly immersive show by Punchdrunk long before Sleep No More was brought to NYC), my friend sprung it on me as we were entering, they handed me a mask and were like “do not walk with your friends” and shoved me into a dark hallway and I was like “wtf is even happening now” and started wandering through the building very tense and annoyed and it turned out to be AMAZING and now I’m on team Punchdrunk for life and see all of their shows. So who knows. But I still probably won’t give anything called Modelland my money.