Model Tyra Banks is opening a theme park based entirely around modeling, Entertainment Weekly is reporting. The park -- which will be a multi-level 21,000 square foot space in Santa Monica Place -- will be called Modelland, just like the young adult novel she released in 2010 that's based on her life. Modelland is set to open later this year and will feature retail shops, entertainment, and restaurants. According to Banks, this project has been in the works for the past 10 years.
"I've always been insanely inspired by attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios and have wanted to bring that spirit of adventure and storytelling to the world of modeling," Banks shared.
"But not the exclusive modeling industry. I'm talking about modeling for the masses. 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."Banks said the park promoting a message of inclusiveness and empowerment was an important part of her vision. The America's Next Top Model host revealed that she had had to face many rejections in her career due to her skin color and body type, and wants to expand the modeling world for everyone. While the exact attractions haven't been revealed just yet, there are theme park features we do know about: first of all, it's not a pop-up attraction. Bank's project is a permanent installment to be open year-round. We also know there is going to be a large social media component to Modelland. Banks has contacted Hollywood costume designers and stylists that will provide clothes for guests to wear, too. There won't be any runway shows, however, as the model feels that is "low-hanging fruit." Banks expects it to be a popular location for birthday parties and other group gatherings like bachelorette parties. We can also expect "experiential dining" that is "not your typical dining experience." In addition, there will be content that is "programmable" -- but Banks is mostly staying mum on what exactly that entails.
According to Variety, Banks is hoping to turn Modelland into a franchise that will open in major cities across the United States -- and maybe eventually go global.
"Modelland is not just a place to us; It's a movement," explained Banks.
"Yes, it's an attraction and a destination, but above all, it's the genesis for people with all types of different beauty to feel seen and validated. Modelland will empower them to embrace, celebrate and adorn their own unique beauty in ways they never thought possible."