You Better Work: How Tyra Banks Catwalked Her Way Into A $90M Net Worth
Photo Credit: Adrienne Raquel

You Better Work: How Tyra Banks Catwalked Her Way Into A $90M Net Worth

When Tyra Banks announced that she was bringing a tech-friendly theme park focused on modeling to California, the tech world sat up and took notice.

As AfroTech reported, ModelLand will be somewhat like a theme park with augmented and virtual reality games and attractions. While ModelLand doesn’t have an opening date yet, according to Variety, it is also set to have food and shopping vendors, making it ideal for visitors of all ages.

Despite its name, ModelLand is inclusive— not just for those looking to enter into the fashion scene — its goal is to redefine beauty standards through tech.

“I am being very deliberate to make sure this is something families can come to,” Banks said. “I’m not creating this to service people who want to become models or are models.”

And that was just the first of many accomplishments by Tyra Banks over the course of a career that first began nearly 30 years ago. Through her boundary-breaking hard work in the modeling industry — which she eventually parlayed into a film and television career that includes hosting stints on “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model” — she accrued a net worth of $90 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. 

But, her money wasn’t just made on the catwalk. Let’s take a look at the myriad of ways that Tyra Banks has made her money.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from various online sources.

Modeling

Photo Credit: Matthew Peyton

At age 16, Tyra Banks got signed with Elite Model Management, and her modeling career kicked off in earnest. In 1991, she booked 25 shows during Milan Fashion Week. Her extensive career had several highlights, but the most notable include being the first woman on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and being the first Black woman to grace the cover of GQ. In 1997, she made history again when she became the first Black woman to land the cover of Victoria’s Secret catalog. Today, too, on the rare occasions that she does model, she goes by the name BanX, per Brittanica.

Film & Television Career

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless

In 1995, Tyra Banks began her film and television career when she was cast in the late John Singleton’s classic “Higher Learning.” Since then, she’s starred in such films as “Halloween: Resurrection,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” “Life-Size” and more. Currently, too, she’s the host of “Dancing With The Stars,” replacing longtime host Tom Bergeron.

Recently, AfroTech told you about her production company signing what’s called a “first-look” deal with ABC’s Signature. The deal gives Signature the right of first refusal for anything that Banks and her Bankable Productions (an all-female team) bring to the proverbial table.

“Banks and her production company were previously locked in a first-look deal with Universal Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio, which was revealed in August 2018,” we reported. “Banks is accompanied by Bankable Productions executive vice president Hayley Lozitsky and director of development/in-house writer, Sabrina Besla, for her new venture.”

This new first-look deal came after Banks was announced as the new host of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Of course, in our humble opinion, Tyra Banks is best known for her run as the host of “America’s Next Top Model,” which is long overdue for a modern-day reboot.

Philanthropy

Courtesy of TZONE

In 2014, Tyra Banks began the TZONE (later relaunched as the Tyra Banks TZONE), which provided leadership and life development skills to disadvantaged Black girls and young women. Additionally, Banks set up a scholarship fund for those who are looking to attend Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, which is where Banks herself went.

Academia

Photo Credit: Paras Griffin

When Tyra Banks graduated from Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program (O.P.M.) in 2012, it caused a lot of controversies when it was announced on social media — so much so, in fact, that predominantly-white, quasi-feminist publication Jezebel launched a mini-investigation into her studies, as AfroTech previously reported.

In 2017, Forbes reported that Tyra Banks also began teaching about personal branding at Stanford University in California. The class was called “Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand.”

Real Estate

Photo Credit: Realtor.com

In 2021, Tyra Banks put her Beverly Hills estate on the market. According to Patch, the “Spanish Revival” home — which is named Casa de Seis Palmas (The House of Six Palms) — boasts nearly 6,000-square-feet, with five bedrooms and five full and one half-bath. It’s currently listed for $6.3 million.

Tyra Banks has also listed her spacious Manhattan apartment, according to Architectural Digest.

“The resulting 7,000 square feet of living space includes five bedrooms, five baths, and three half baths, plus multiple kitchens and kitchenettes,” reports the outlet, which also mentions that it overlooks the Hudson River. As of this writing, the apartment hasn’t been sold, and it’s been listed for $17.5 million.

People Magazine has also reported that Tyra Banks listed her Pacific Palisades home for sale, as well. The home, which she purchased in 2019 for $3 million, is currently being listed for $7.8 million.

In recent years, Tyra Banks has become a celebrity house flipper. According to Yahoo, she started her career in the mid-2010s, where she “she’s bought several homes in California, renovated them, and sold them for a profit—and she’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.”

We stan a real estate mogul!