Tyra Banks Celebrates Black Models & Italian Vogue Breakthrough On Talk Show

To celebrate Italian Vogue’s success, Tyra Banks is shooting a tribute episode of her namesake (Emmy-winning!) talk show Tuesday in New York, with Blindie’s favorite supermodel-in-training Chanel Iman, the world’s first black supermodel Beverly Johnson, Veronica Webb, Noemie Lenoir and many others.

The model-mogul, who came on the modeling scene after Naomi Campbell’s rise to fashion fame and became the first black model to appear on the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, tranformed a Manhattan street into an asphalt runway.

“A lot of the times the fashion world doesn’t give a lot of attention to American Black girls from urban areas,” Banks, who has been an advocate for diversity in the fashion industry, told Ebony last year. “I don’t mean to pat my own back, but America’s Next Top Model pulled down the curtain to this world that people thought they couldn’t be a part of. Now every girl is like, ‘I want to be a model.’ I feel like the world is more accessible, but by no means is it less prestigious.”

The episode is scheduled to air in the beginning of Season 4 on September 11th.


Blindie EXCLUSIVE: Catching Up With Anya of America’s Next Top Model

Blindie caught up with Anya Kop (who’s real surname is Rozova) on Tuesday night at Metal magazine’s launch party in SoHo, where the America’s Next Top Model finalist talked life-after-ANTM and her new digs in New York.

The Cycle 10 star, who in Blindie’s opinion was shafted of her victory by Tyra’s need to throw a plus-size model the title, moved from Hawaii–that’s where her “bizarre” accent (which is the island’s native pidgin) comes from–to New York five weeks ago.

Having signed with Elite Model Management last month, Anya told Blindie, “I’m so excited. The show was a stepping stone and I can’t wait to prove myself beyond TV.”

The Waipahu, Hawaii native also talked about her adventures in the Big Apple (she’s got a cute condo in SoHo furnished by Elite), and how she’s adapting. “I’ve been to Jones Beach, it’s amazing!” Anya said. “I know it’s not Hawaii, but you know what? I’m in New York now, so I love it. I can’t wait to go to Fire Island.”

I guess you can take the Hawaii girl off the island, but not the island out of the girl. Good luck, Anya!

An Open Letter to Tyra Banks & Cycle 12 of America’s Next Top Model

As The CW’s America’s Next Top Model gets ready to cast diamonds-in-the-rough for Cycle 12, Blindie has a few things for producers to keep in mind. Basically, we still think this guilty pleasure can be saved from itself–and from the claws of Tyra–but only if they get rid of a few of the show’s formulaic tendencies.

Here’s 10 Things Blindie Hates About You, ANTM:

1. Tyra, STOP the dramatics. From your random accents on the panel to your unnatural sadness when kicking contestants off. If we have to hear you say, “I have two beautiful girls standing before me, but I only have one photograph in my hand. That photo represents the girl who is still in the running toward becoming America’s Next Top Model….” I think we will have to cut your tongue out!

2. ENOUGH already with the “Smile with Your Eyes” bit. We know how to do it–you’ve been schooling these girls on smiling with their eyes for 11 cycles now!

3. No more pretty girls with disabilities! From Cycle 1’s Amanda (retinitis pigmentosa) to Cycle 2’s Mercedes (Lupus) to Cycle 10’s Heather (Aspberger’s, a form of autism), we get it: Pretty people have problems too.

4. Stop calling Nigel Barker a “noted fashion photographer!

5. No more plus-sized models. Just develop a spinoff. We are tired of seeing Size 8s dubbed plus-sized because they are in a house full of Size 0s…