IVY PRIDE: Tyra Banks has been everything from swimsuit model to talk show host. Now for the next stage of her career: business school advocate? Banks, who graduated from Harvard Business School’s executive education program earlier this year, swung by Singapore to promote “Asia’s Next Top Model,” the first international spin-off of “America’s Next Top Model” to span more than one country.
Throughout a 20-minute press conference on Sunday morning, the program’s executive producer peppered her conversation with references to the Ivy League university and her business education. Talking about her cabin on her Singapore Airlines flight to Asia, she said: “At business school, my dorm room wasn’t as big.”
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Banks, who was dressed in a lime yellow wrap dress and beige sequined heels, did put at least one lesson from business school to good use: Give the people what they want. Asked in front of a largely Asian media audience who her favorite model was, she named Karlie Kloss. “She looks kind of Asian,” Banks said.
She did court controversy for a moment when she said that she wouldn’t like to see an Asian model moment, but followed it up by noting, “Why should there be a moment? Asian models aren’t going anywhere. I don’t want it to be a fad.”
The 13-episode series of “Asia’s Next Top Model” will be hosted by former MTV VJ Nadya Hutagalung and is produced by Ice-TV, which has adapted shows like “Wheel of Fortune” for Asian audiences. It isn’t clear if Banks will have any role on the show, though she previously appeared as a guest judge on the Vietnam edition of “Next Top Model.” More details of the program, which will air late this year, will be disclosed at the end of September.