“America’s Next Top Model” creator and former talk show host Tyra Banks is launching a new amusement park called ‘Modelland,’ named after the 2010 young adult novel she published loosely based on her life.
Banks told WWED, the theme park, opening at Santa Monica Place shopping mall this year, will be a 21,000 square foot, ticketed attraction that creates a fantasy version of the modeling world to let visitors “be the dream version of themselves” through interactive entertainment, curated retail and user-generated content that can be shared across social media.
Banks was adamant that the theme park is not a ‘pop –up’ which are quite popular now.
“This is not a pop-up. It’s a permanent attraction anchoring the mall. I’m inspired by Disneyland, a place I went to a lot as a child. There is a storyline I have been working on for a year. Anybody can enter and feel like a model.”
The experience will be multilevel ticketed, but anyone can come and shop, and not just Modelland merchandise, Banks promises that other brands will be available as well.
“It’s my calling to bring modeling to the masses,” Banks explained, adding that she’d been working on the project for 10 years, with funding from Santa Monica Place shopping center owner/operator Macerich and other investors.
“I created ‘Top Model’ to expand the definition of beauty based on my own pain of being told ‘no’ that I couldn’t do something because I’m curvy or I’m black. My empathy for women in general increased through the experience. And now with Modelland, I’m taking it ten steps forward, giving people the opportunity to engage with the elusive world by opening it up to everyone. Men, women, families, all generations can come and enter this model world for a day, have a fun shopping experience, and an eventful meal. This will be the first of many.”