The America’s Next Top Model Diva, Entrepreneur and Queen of the runway- Tyra Banks, covers BLACK Magazine’s 21st Issue. She looks abosultely looks stunning as she rocks different hair styles, outfits and unique looks. Tyra Banks continues to be an inspiration to many models out there and she promotes diversity in her brand.
“She is one of the world’s most recognisable women. As the founder of the Next Top Model franchise she is the spiritual mother to aspiring top models in 59 countries. She was the first African American womanto appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the first model to book 25 shows at her debut ParisFashion Week. She coined ‘Fierce’ and ‘Smize’, terms now ensconced in the vernacular and prefers ‘Fiercely real’ to ‘plus size’.”
Tyra Bank speaks to BLACK Magazine on different topics from ANTM, the modelling industry, her passion and much more!
Model: Tyra Banks
Photography: Thom Kerr at Independent Artist Management
Hair & Make-up: Justin Henry at justinhenrybeauty.com
Fashion Editor: Camille Garmendia
Dress by Ezra Couture, necklace by Unearthen,
bracelets, stylist’s own
Shot at: Smoky Hollow Studios, Los Angeles
Check out an Excerpt of Tyra Bank’s Interview below:
As a young girl, what attracted you initially to the fashion industry?
To be honest, I wasn’t attracted to the fashion industry, the fashion industry found me. I was discovered on a school bench the first day of high school by a fellow student. I thought I was far too awkward and gawky to ever be associated with modeling but it was actually those qualities that launched my early career. Once I was in the fashion world and walking the runways of Paris I was attracted to the nuance of the industry; the specific things that certain designers looked for in a model and what aesthetic caught their eye. I tried to be a chameleon and studied up on designers prior to meeting them at “go-sees” (auditioning for modeling jobs) in order to be the fashion muse they were looking to cast.
I read that in the beginning you had trouble finding representation as a model – what were the some of the roadblocks?
The major roadblock was the color of my skin. It was difficult being an African American face in the industry. Fortunately, my mother taught me that it wasn’t me, Tyra Banks, the person, being picked apart; they viewed me as a product, so I rarely took it personally. After many agency declines I was signed by L.A. Models and offered an opportunity to go to Paris. On that first trip I was the first and only model to ever book 25 shows during one Fashion Week.
What fuelled your determination?
Once I was a part of the fashion world I wasn’t about to take it lightly. A lot of girls around me wouldn’t pass up a party but I knew that this was a business, and a very fleeting one. I was also one of very few African American models in the fashion world at that time so it was important to present myself well and keep that door open for other models that looked like me.
What did it feel like when things started cooking? Do you feel like you had a sense of the significance of what was about to unfold?
My agency didn’t want me to get a big head so they would lie to me and say what I was doing was what other models were doing and it was normal and nothing special. It took a while for me to realize how successful I was.
Read the Full Interview HERE