Fourteen seasons were all Tyra Banks needed to take America’s Next Top Model high-fashion. In a statement about Italian Vogue’s sponsorship of the show’s fifteenth season, Banks calls the partnership “my second coup in the high-fashion makeover of ‘Top Model’ which I talked about earlier this year with André Leon Talley joining the judging panel.” Banks, who writes she is “working hard to make sure that I do right by y’all,” explains how the partnership came about in a statement:
I was so excited when Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue, reached out to me at the end of last year to be a permanent contributor on the recently launched vogue.it (Italian Vogue’s new website) - I was (and AM!) so honored and excited to be working so closely with such an iconic brand. Franca and I really hit it off; we really connected on a personal level, but even more so as we exchanged visions for the future of our brands. I knew instantly that we were destined to partner together in another BIG way; I even told Franca I’d be in touch as soon as I figured out what that was - OH, and I wasn’t kidding. Here’s ANTM with an Italian Vogue cover, and not one, but TWO in-book fashion spreads for our winner.”
We will assume, then, that the casting requirements are not to be five-foot-seven or shorter or something else gimmicky. It’s not a bad move for Italian Vogue, which will get (and has already gotten) huge exposure through the deal. We wonder what will happen to Tyra’s other friends on the show. Talley’s butt is glued to his judging seat for the fifteenth season and at least one more, but what about Nigel Barker and Jay Manuel? Sozzani and Talley ought to have enough pull to book photographers who do more outside the show than shoot baby seals and mannequins on beaches and pose nude themselves. You know, like shoot editorials for magazines or, say, ads for fashion brands. Also, she’s going to need a new set, because the glowing pink-and-purple pageant thing she’s had going for years is not very Italian Vogue. That light-up runway has got to go! At least trade for a mirrored one like they do in Milan.