Long before models joined the ranks of the multihyphenates, Tyra Banks broke the mold. She shattered our expectations of those on the catwalk with her business acumen, passion for diversity and body positivity, and her bold vision to conquer industries beyond the parameters of the fashion world. Ahead, we dig into Banks’s many “receipts.”
She’s the CEO of The Tyra Banks Company, which houses Bankable Productions, Tyra Beauty and ModelLand, showing us that your career can evolve into multiple enterprises.
She Managed Her Money Early On.
Banks does not seem like the type of celebrity to spend her funds haphazardly. Her early commitment to proper money management practices led to the purchase of her first home at 20. Around that time her mother suggested she find someone to handle her finances and persuaded an investment banker to take Banks on as a client for $10,000, which was significantly less than his usual million-dollar fee.
She’s an Intellectual Property Queen.
Banks understands the power of ownership. She controls her creative content, producing the Emmy Award–winning Tyra Banks Show and creating America’s Next Top Model, which is viewed in 140 countries with 40 international spin-off versions. Last year the CEO inked a first-look deal for scripted and unscripted projects, and she is currently working on an online docuseries, Beauty.
She Diversifies Her Income.
Banks’s entertainment pursuits are widely known, but the mogul also has an interest in real estate. She purchases homes in Los Angeles and flips them for profit.
She’s a Student of The Game.
She found education to be a key to getting to the next level. In 2012 she made her way to Harvard Business School to complete a nine-week program. In 2018 she cotaught a course at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
She Knows That Breaking Barriers Requires Mentorship.
Banks understood that opening doors for others required guiding those who are trying to follow your footsteps. So she found a way to pay it forward by creating a show that paved the way for 5-foot, 7-inch and shorter, plus-size, transgender, vitiligo and deaf models.
She Hires Women of Color.
Breaking barriers means overcoming discrimination until the right opportunity comes your way. Understanding what it’s like to find employment as a Black woman, Banks employs women of color in her multiple businesses, which span several industries.
She Redefines Beauty with Body Positivity.
Casting a diverse group of women and men for her shows was the first way she chose to disrupt the constraints of what we perceive as beautiful. She’s fearless when it comes to going without makeup and hair weaves—as you can see from her social media feeds.