Tyra Banks’s new office on Manhattan’s Avenue D is currently under construction, but when it’s finished, it’ll be located in the same space as her latest project — a leadership center for girls. Its official name is the Tyra Banks TZONE at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, but who’s going to be like, “Let’s go hang out at the Tyra Banks TZONE at the Lower Eastside Girls Club after school?” Yeah. Shortening it to TZONE seems like a long shot, too, because what teenage girl wants to be reminded of the most problematic area of her face? Anyway, the 30,000-square-foot building is tricked out with lots of swish amenities like a bakery, a “wellness center” (is that a gym?), a studio space, and — because why not? — a planetarium.*
Banks tells the Times that her goal for the space is to empower young female entrepreneurs. “My dream was to have a place that was brick and mortar, where they could build on that experience all the time,” she said. “The real impact is to have consistency, as opposed to an excursion.” Perhaps best of all, she herself will work out of her office in the building when she’s in New York, so the girls will see her leading by example as she goes into work every day. In fact, Tyra says she wants them to get to the point where they don’t even pay attention to her:
What I don’t want to be is Tyra, the “celebrity girl,” coming here and the girls being excited when they see me … I want them to be numb to me. I can do normal work here and they can see me, to know that this is what a business is. It’s not about living on a red carpet. I am a businesswoman who goes to work every single day.
Okay, but she surely still wants them to notice her at least just a little bit.
* A rep for Banks has clarified that the Tyra Banks TZONE will only occupy 2,000 square feet of the 30,000 square foot Lower Eastside Girls Club, and that Tyra’s actual office is “small”and will be within the TZONE area.