I am of the firm belief that no one should be up before noon on a Sunday unless you have plans for a delicious brunch, or in my case today, a date with Tyra Banks. Even if I do mean “date” in the loosest possible sense.
But the chance to catch one of the world’s most famed supermodels in the flesh was enough to get me out of bed at the crack of dawn and make my way down to Resorts World in Sentosa.
For those who haven’t heard, this supermodel-turned-super mogul is in town in support of Asia’s Next Top Model, a regional spin-off of America’s Next Top Model – the reality TV show on modelling and the fashion industry created, produced and hosted by Banks herself.
Breezing into the press conference in gold skyscraper heels and a sleeveless yellow wrap dress that hugged her curves in all the right places, Banks looked every bit like a life-sized Barbie doll from H2T. (That’s Tyra-ism for head-to-toe, my friend.)
It’s easy to see why this “fierce” model has graced countless runways – most notably as the first African-American Victoria’s Secret angel – and magazine covers since she was 18.
She opened the session by talking about how she’s been on thousands on flights but was so impressed by the first class cabin on board Singapore Airlines that she had to tweet a picture of it. “It was like a boat!”, she raved.
When asked about her thoughts on the rise in Asian models and how she felt they compared to African-American models like herself, Banks replied that while there has been a recent movement where a lot of Asian models are appearing in magazines and on the runway (much as black models were before), she doesn’t like the idea of ethnicity as a “fad” and said the industry should work for models of all types to be a staple in fashion.
It was also nice to see how behind the dazzling smile and perfect hair, Banks exudes an air of down-to-earth-ness when she quipped, “I don’t like the term ‘plus-sized’ models, I prefer ‘fiercely real’” – an attitude that has endeared her to women around the world, and that we can’t wait to see more of in the near future.
Want to know more about Tyra Banks' plans for the ANTM franchise and how she takes care of her body? Watch this space for the full video of today’s press conference, coming soon. For more information about Asia’s Next Top Model, visit asiasnexttopmodel.tv. You can also follow the show on Twitter @AsiasNTM or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AsiasNextTopModel.