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Tyra Banks: Model of Steel

Not just a pretty face, supermodel Tyra Banks runs a business empire, plus she has a diploma in business from Harvard

Published on Aug 14, 2012 5:47 PM
'I’m not looking to just host various shows, and just create revenue. I’m looking to create businesses and hire the best of the best.” - Tyra Banks (above) on diversifying her portfolio -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Supermodel Tyra Banks was at the height of her career when her mother taught her a poignant lesson: A model is needed only for as long as she is in style.

Backstage at fashion shows in Europe in the 1990s, her mother, who was also her manager then, would point out that the "it" girls from previous shows were not there.

It was a wake-up call for the model, who was at the time being booked by fashion powerhouses such as Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent, and was being touted as the next Naomi Campbell.

Banks, who started modelling in Paris when she was 17, says that set the wheels in motion for her next career moves beyond the runway.

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Background story

“A designer dress is nice but I have to keep it for 30 years for it to be worth something more.”

On her thrifty ways

“Today, it’s easier for girls of colour to get into the industry, but it is harder for a girl who is not a size zero.”

On how being thin is still a pre-requisite for the runway