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Supermodel Tyra Banks Announces Fashion Theme Park at Santa Monica Place
By Jorge Casuso
February 5, 2019 -- Supermodel and tv personality Tyra Banks announced Tuesday she plans to open a 21,000-square-foot fashion theme park at Santa Monica Place later this year.
Ten "intense" years in the making, Modelland will be "a multi-level ticketed experience" that offers "a first-of-its-kind experiential attraction," the announcement said.
"Modelland will intersect a fantasy version of the modeling world with state-of-the-art interactive entertainment, creative collaborations, curated retail, dining and special events," according to the announcement.
"Each (visitor) will undertake a transformational journey to celebrate their unique beauty," the press release said. "Banks continues her mission to bring modeling to the masses and expand the definition of beauty."
On Monday, the Architectural Review Board (ARB) reviewed the proposed design, colors and materials for a facade remodel and a sign adjustment on 4th Street for "Project M."
The agenda item -- accompanied by a staff report and renderings detailing the proposed facade -- was described as "design specifics for a new retail experience tenant ("Project M") in Santa Monica Place."
The proposed facade is "characterized by gold-colored ribbons transforming into a 'LED Head' sculpture," according to the staff report.
The applicant for the project was Susan Bonds/Animal Repair Shop. On its website, the company describes itself as "a new mixed reality studio bridging the gap between content and technology, stories and platforms."
The press release for the proposed project quickly generated national news, with several news outlets noting the proposed project was short on details, .
"So what exactly does 'modeling for the masses' mean?" asked People Magazine. "The details of the attractions are still pretty unclear."
The headline in Kotaku, a video game website and blog, read "Supermodel Tyra Banks Is Starting A Wildly Unspecific Theme Park Experience,"
Banks, a native on Inglewood who named the venture after a a Young Adult sci-fi novel she wrote, said she has been focusing on the project for a decade.
"Modelland has been 10 intense years in the making," she said in a statement. "It has been my ultimate dream and I have worked tirelessly with laser-focused tunnel vision to bring it to fruition."
Modelland, she added, "will awaken your childlike glee by entertaining and educating in unexpected ways that will make learning about oneself fierce and fun.
"I want people to feel seen and validated," Banks said. "Modelland will provide the tools for them to do so and empower them to embrace, adorn and celebrate their own unique beauty."
The multi-media flagship venue is a "permanent destination with a global strategy to expand worldwide," according to the announcement.
"The venture will invite select partners in the sectors of beauty, fashion, entertainment, food & beverage, and technology to collaborate on the 360-degree, poly-sensory experiences," the release said.
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