Tyra Banks has come a long way since her modeling career began as a teen. From being the first African American woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, to creating hit show America’s Next Top Model and recently snagging a hosting gig on America’s Got Talent – business is still booming. In a new interview, the 43-year-old mogul (and mommy) is giving us insight on businesses, branding and motherhood. See excerpts from the interview below.
On standing out during her modeling career:
I really had a natural way of walking that was a little different, sometimes a little wacky, and I would notice people smiling. I was like ‘Oh wow. They like this. This is my signature walk.’ So that’s when I understood . . .that differentiation was important.
On why it’s important for her to teach business and branding courses at Stanford:
Branding is a skill that all of us need to master. Since society’s selfie-taking obsession with Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels means that there’s a personal brand that you’re building even if you don’t know that you are. So I think it’s best to be equipped with the tools to make sure that you are shaping something that can serve you in the future.
On why imitation is not a form of flattery:
I pivot constantly in my career.
She adds that she thinks:
‘Oh no, you will not catch up. .. .Boo, don’t you know you should just make up your own thing, because we’re about to change this, and you’re going to look obsolete because you’re going to be copying something that I don’t even do anymore?’ And that’s why the other shows have not worked.
On being successful but feeling empty:
I was on fire. I was so successful . .. .but I was exhausted and I was sad.
On how motherhood has changed her:
I definitely focused on him. I didn’t do any work at all for months.
On co-parenting with baby York’s father and getting help from her mother:
We are co-parenting and doing such a great job raising him that I don’t have to do less. So it’s like this beautiful village around York. But I’m there every day.’
On balancing a baby with business:
[I’m] mama in the morning, and I’m mama at night and sometimes all day when he’s with me and I don’t feel like I’m going crazy at all.