In May, Banks announced her decision to go by the name “BanX” during her latest Sports Illustrated cover story. The new moniker signifies her rebirth in the modeling scene after exiting in 2005 and “X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty,” the star told SI.
Next May, entrepreneur, television producer and former supermodel Tyra Banks will be teaching students at Stanford University how to grow their brand and manage their own businesses. Banks will be a guest lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and she will co-teach 25 MBA students in the course about the ups and downs of the business world, which will require students to present their brands across platforms including YouTube, Facebook Live, and local television.
Banks told the Wall Street Journal that she expects her students to work hard, saying, “If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them.”
The daytime talk show space continues to get crowded (Tyra Banks most recently announced that she’ll be jumping back into that space via ABC), as Keke Palmer and BET are hoping to strike gold with a new talk show targeting so-called millenials – essentially those in her age group – which Palmer will of course host.
Tentatively-titled “#JUSTKeke,” the network has ordered an initial 4-week run, starting on June 30, airing daily, Monday to Friday. Judge Greg Mathis, apparently looking to expand his empire, will executive produce, while Telepictures is producing.
The 20-year-old Palmer will become the youngest talk show host in TV history, with “#JUSTKeke,” besting the likes of Ricki Lake, who was 25 when she begun hosting her 1990’s daytime talk show, also aimed at her generation at the time. Per the press announcement, “#JUSTKeke” will cover a variety of topics important to her target audience, as you’d expect, and will also include celebrity guests, and more. “I like to read quotes that touch on how I am feeling,” Palmer said. “If I am dealing with confusion, I will read quotes about clarity and peace of mind. I started posting these quotes on my Twitter page, and the fans responded so positively! I realized that many of them were dealing with similar issues, and the quotes helped to open up a genuine dialogue between us.”
Palmer boasts around 1.4 million Twitter followers, and I suspect a good number of them will follow her to BET when her talk-show premieres at the end of this month.
She will join “The Wendy Williams Show,” “The Queen Latifah Show,” and new series, “The Real” (hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, and Jeannie Mai,) all in syndication on BET (“Latifah” and “The Real” head to the network this fall). Clearly BET is reinforcing its hold on the black female audience (it’s also rebranding Centric to become a network for black women as well).
You’ll recall that ASPiRE, the new television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises, greenlit its first talk show – “Exhale” – last year, with Angela Burt-Murray, Erin Jackson, Issa Rae, Malinda Williams and Rene Syler all hosting. That talkie is still well and alive. BET has released a first promo for “#JUSTKeke,” calling it “a new kind of Talk Show”:
Tyra Banks is getting a second chance at making her daytime dreams come true. The supermodel has partnered as an executive producer with Disney to launch a new lifestyle show in 2015, the company announced on Friday.
So what will make this series different from “The Tyra Banks Show,” which was on the air for nearly 270 episodes from 2005 to 2011? This time around, Banks will be joined by a “panel of lifestyle experts,” who will use the model’s vast social media following to create a multi-platform experience for their viewers.
“The fire to inspire women and help them to blaze new paths fiercely burns inside of me,” Banks said in a statement.
“I’m excited to be partnering with Disney-ABC to usher in a new era of lifestyle, beauty and entertainment that will inspire women to be the CEO of their lives via honesty, humor and the newest tips and tricks without being intimidating or precious.”
Click here to read the rest of this story on E! Online
Yaya Alafia arrived on TV screens more than a decade ago as Yaya DaCosta, the young model proud of her African and Latina roots in Season 3 of America’s Next Top Model. But, as she tells NPR’s Michel Martin, she has come a long way since competing on the series. “I have practiced such deliberate amnesia when it came to that show,” she admits. “Just hearing my voice at such a young, vulnerable age, forced into this other world that I wasn’t prepared for.”
But that experience did prepare her for a successful film career. In 2013, she starred in three films: Mother of George, Big Words and The Butler, in which she played a Black Panther.
“[My father] was an organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. My mother did a little bit of work with the Black Panthers,” she says. “It felt kind of natural for me going on that audition.”
A graduate in Africana studies and international relations from Brown University, Alafia celebrates the fact that she is “one of those Africans in America that’s kind of a mutt, for lack of a better word.” And although her roots stretch from Nigeria to Brazil, she believes that “when people start to get a little too specific, it serves as a divisive tactic.”
Originally from Harlem, she spent a trimester of high school abroad in the Dominican Republic. She says her experience there made her aware of complicated issues involving racial identity. “I didn’t realize how deep-rooted the brainwashing went and how much self-hate there was. … My host mother would yell at me, saying … ‘You’re going to burn out there, don’t get too dark, you could be so pretty.’ And that really had an effect on me.”
Aamito beat out 11 contestants from eight different countries—including three women from Nigeria and two from South Africa—to become Africa’s first-ever Top Model winner. The 20-year-old won a contract with New York-based agency DNA Model Management, an endorsement deal with P&G, a one-year contract as ambassador for South African Tourism, along with $50,000 in prize money.
After her win Aamito told reporters, “I would like to thank everybody for their support and for believing in me. It is a dream come true for me and it is truly awesome.”
Africa’s Next Top Model is the brainchild of supermodel Oluchi Onweagba. Onweagba, who’s married to Italian designer Luca Orlandi, has been in the business for over fifteen years, gracing runways for designers like Victoria Secret, Christian Dior, and Giorgio Armani, and snagging covers for publications like Italian Vogue, i-D, Elle, and Surface.
Africa’s Next Top Model was a hit with viewers and many are hopefully this will help catapult African models to international success.
According to Huff Post Black Voices, Tyra Banks is expanding “Top Model” empire by producing “Africa’s Next Top Model” this fall. Africa is now the fourth continent to adopt ANTM’s highly successful model search-meets-reality show concept. Banks has tapped Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi (pictured above) to serve as the series’ host and co-producer.
“The African version of the franchise is long overdue and I expect the show to be a smashing success across the continent,” Oluchi said in a release. Twelve young women will be chosen from eight countries throughout Africa, and, like the U.S. version, the model hopefuls will compete in a number of photo shoots and challenges over the course of ten episodes to see who makes it to the top. No judges have been announced yet, but production will begin in August in Cape Town, South Africa.
Liya Kebede’s Liya Kebede Foundation engages in a range of charitable projects that help improve maternal healthcare in her native Ethiopia. (Photo: Getty Images)
Fashion Week isn’t only about glitzy runway shows and star-studded front rows; nor is the industry solely about dreamy designer pieces most of us can’t afford and rich, skinny models. Some of those beautiful mannequins and marquee names are as much about substance as style.
As New York Fashion Week entered its fifth day on Monday, supermodel Liya Kebede explained to theGrio how she used her fame gained walking runways to raising awareness about maternal health. At an intimate gathering in the rooftop bar at Manhattan’s SoHo House, hosted by La Phête, a new online destination focused on spotlighting fashion’s philanthropic stars, Kebede shared her journey.
EXCLUSIVE: America’s Next Top Model executive producer/star Tyra Banks is making her first foray into scripted series withFivehead, a single-camera comedy for ABC based on her teen years. Banks is co-creating/executive producing Fivehead withKenya Barris (Fox’s I Hate My Teenage Daughter), a childhood friend and longtime business partner with whom Banks also co-created America’s Next Top Model, now in its 19th cycle.
Fivehead, produced by ABC Studios, chronicles the impressionable teenage years of Banks in the halls of her high school and at home, focusing on her family and the long journey that took Banks from awkward teen to one of the world’s most recognizable supermodels. “In high school, if you have glasses, you’re a ‘four eyes’, if you have braces, you’re a ‘metal mouth’ but if you had my forehead? You’re a FIVEHEAD,” said Banks.
Barris and Banks will co-create together the characters and the story for Fivehead, and Barris will write the script. The two first met when they were 6-year-olds and attended school together, which gives Barris a first-hand account of the very times Banks and he will be reminiscing about in Fivehead. “To be able to witness her career was wild, but to be able to watch Tyra grow up was nothing short of nutty,” said Barris. “I am blown away by the opportunity to tell not just a great story but a story that I remember so fondly.” Banks is repped by WME. Barris is repped by Paradigm and Principato-Young.