Skip to main content

Tyra Banks Aspires to be Global Beauty Brand Mogul

The supermodel and former host of "America's Next Top Model" reported her direct-selling beauty brand has exceeded sales expectations so far.

Tyra Banks is building a global beauty empire.

Speaking to WWD after a breakfast Friday put on by her brand and Beautycon Media at Los Angeles’ Sunset Tower Hotel, Banks reported Tyra Beauty has exceeded sales projections in the nearly a year since its official launch and is in hypergrowth mode. The supermodel and former host of “America’s Next Top Model” has funded the direct-selling beauty brand herself.

“I really want us to be a mega company that is worldwide. We have these things called BFOGs, Big Fierce Outrageous Goals, and I don’t see that as outrageous. I see that as very reachable. In a certain amount of years, we will be global,” Banks said. “Awareness is so hard for new companies, and we already have that, at least through me, so that allows us to open new channels. I want my Beautytainers [or direct-sales representatives] to have the world to sign up to sell, not just America.”

Out of the gate with an assortment of 14 products priced from $18 to $63.50, Tyra Beauty recently added “Brow. Set. Match.,” a $24 combo brow pencil and setting gel, to its lineup. Banks touted the setting gel as “hairspray for your eyebrows. It fixes them to keep them in place.” Some of her favorite Tyra Beauty products are in stick form for easy, quick application. “I love to be able to sculpt my cheekbones in seconds and to highlight fast,” she said.

You May Also Like

Tyra Beauty aims to make direct selling relevant to Millennials, and Banks noted the brand has been attracting a broad demographic to its sales force. “It’s a mix of people. It’s great that we are tapping into this younger generation because it doesn’t feel like their mom’s direct-selling business. It’s cool and different. They can shake their booties and work the hallway like a runway at our national conventions. It’s a whole different feeling,” she said.

As she develops Tyra Beauty, Banks admitted one of her biggest challenges is delegating. “Being a founder that’s the financial backer as well, it makes me micromanage. It makes me go, ‘What does that table cost? $200? I saw it on sale for $89.’ Micromanaging, in the end, is not good for the company,” she said. “When I was on my maternity leave, I made a list of six areas that are my core competencies that I need to focus on. I also found out that, with stepping away and giving people freedom, we are very successful. Actually, we had some of our biggest months when I was on maternity leave.”

Although she’s concentrating on Tyra Beauty, Banks continues to be outspoken about modeling and other issues that are important to her. In reaction to the controversy surrounding Stephanie Seymour’s comments about Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, she penned an article for her website delving into changes in the modeling industry.

Asked why she decided to share her thoughts on the matter, Banks explained, “I understand both sides. I understand how as a supermodel from the past how you had to do so much and didn’t have the luxuries of social media or reality television and things that can help elevate your brand, but I also understand the girls of today. A lot of people think they are not working. They are working their asses off. I’m sure they are exhausted. You can’t fault them for technology or what the public demands.”