What is ModelLand, Tyra Banks’s forthcoming attraction at the Santa Monica Place mall? Why does it exist, exactly? Is it a theme park? Is it live-action spon-con tacked to the side of a mall? And why is its apparent catchphrase, “Welcome to the land of ‘and,’” a saying that means…nothing?
For months, Banks has been trying to hype her forthcoming venture, though it hasn’t been entirely clear what fans will do at ModelLand; early on, it appeared that the modeling-themed space might boil down to a glorified Glamour Shots portrait studio. Now, though, ModelLand tickets are officially on sale—which means that we can finally see what Banks and co. have been plotting for the last decade. Let’s take a close look at the offerings, shall we?
There are three pricing options for ModelLand, including general access, “Fantascene photoshoot,” and “Fantascene dream.” General access costs $59 and includes a “phierce” digital look book, an “immersive theatre where YOU are part of the show,” access to “experiential closets,” posing tips and custom lighting. What?
Unfortunately, there’s no time to dwell on that, as we must move on to the Fantascene tiers. A Fantascene photoshoot ticket costs $549 and also includes “phierce” photos, makeup, and hairstyling, “runway-ready wardrobe styling” as well as “tasty indulgent treats” (a mystery!) and a “signature blood orange beverage” (another mystery). The next tier, which costs $1,495, includes such A-list perks as “the ultimate concierge services,” a consultation with ModelLand’s fashion and beauty expert, “veiled VIP seating,” wardrobe changes, more photographs, a “custom curated row for Instagram,” a luxury robe, and a gift bag curated by Banks herself. There’s no blood orange drink, but there is the promise of a “hand-crafted ModelLand elixir and an assortment of artisanal truffles.”
There is so much to parse here, but in essence: ModelLand looks to be a place where one can go and…model? Live out one’s fiercest fantasies (er, phiercest phantasies)? It’s like America’s Next Top Model come to life, basically, a home for fans who want to smize in a Banks-approved setting. But wait, it’s also much, much more: the venture’s website states that ModelLand is no mere attraction, but a “a place full of story that battles what ‘attractive’ means.”
A place full of story. A place full of story.
The ModelLand website is full of many such Banksian turns of phrase. One section site beckons new visitors by declaring “come one, come y’all”; a promotional video released Monday features a giant X over the phrase “your booty standards.” In that video, Banks whispers, “It’s time,” while holding a giant clock. It’s also in that video that Banks uses the catchphrase, “Welcome to the land of ‘and’…ModelLand.” For someone who has gifted us such sayings as “booty tooch” and “hoe, but make it fashion,” there’s something that just doesn’t hit in regards to this new line. It’s kind of explained in the promotional video, but it is still beautifully incomprehensible.
“Imagine a place that’s full of fierce and fantasy, photoshoots and runways, storytelling and theater,” Banks narrates, rattling off some truly beguiling copy. “A place that celebrates beauty and you. And is not a movement, it’s a revolution, an uprising.”
ModelLand, whatever it is, opens May 1.