The growing economic shutdown over coronavirus has for now claimed its first model-led business. Tyra Banks is indefinitely putting off the opening of her Modelland attraction, in the works for more than a year.
The modeling-themed store and experience was set to open May 1, with tickets already being sold online for access, ranging from $59 for basic access all the way to $1,500 for an expansive package that would include a full photo shoot. The concept of the store is built around the experience of being a model, with a catwalk experience, “immersive theatre” and the offering of “professional photography moments designed by you and Tyra.”
As of now, there is no new date for the attraction to open.
“As is no surprise, in light of the recommendations of the CDC, WHO and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, we have decided to postpone the opening of Modelland,” a spokesman for the project said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and determine a new date to open that is appropriate and safe. We remain excited to bring the wondrous world of Modelland to you and will wait to welcome you to our attraction when the time is right.”
The project has been under construction for months in a 21,000-square-foot space within the Third Street Promenade section of Santa Monica, essentially an outdoor mall. Not two weeks ago, Banks spoke to WWD about Modelland and it was still scheduled to open at the start of May and she was even thinking of it as possibly the first outpost in what could become and international endeavor.
“There’s been a lot of interest,” Banks said at the time. “And there’s a lot of money that went into building Modelland. When you go in there, you’ll go, ‘Oh, this is not popping down tomorrow or anytime soon.’”
Banks’ enterprise is one of many to be derailed by public measures and mandates to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus. Stores throughout California and New York, and increasingly the rest of the country are closing down, ostensibly for several weeks, along with restaurants and bars, as health agencies advise against public gatherings of any kind.
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