They said/We said: A tale of two fashion personalities: The scoop on Tyra’s and Tavi’s adventures in writing

Tyra Banks by Henry Dziekan III/Getty Images and Tavi Gevinson by Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Other than fashion, what do 15-year-old blogger Tavi Gevinson and Tyra Banks have in common? They’re both set to release books in the near future. While book launches are nothing new to the fashion world, the typical material is usually limited to collections of glossy photos or instructive style guides. You may (or may not) be shocked to find out that this isn’t the case with either Tavi’s or Tyra’s upcoming ventures.

In true Tyra style, the talk-show host and former supermodel hit the streets of New York on Tuesday in a pink catsuit and a “smize” (a sparkly, gold feather-shaped eyepiece named after the term she coined on America’s Next Top Model) to promote her upcoming fantasy novel, Modelland. The antics didn’t end there, though, as Banks stopped by Good Morning America to talk about the book, scheduled for release on September 13. Apparently, she’s been working on Modelland for five years—the plot is loosely based on her life and is being described as Harry Potter with models instead of wizards. You have to give Tyra some points for imagination, right?

As for Tavi, she seems to be avoiding the fiction route and sticking to what she knows best. After a sleepover with Marisa Meltzer, the Style Rookie blogger and Girl Power author came up with the idea to publish a book on teenage experiences. The proposed zine-style Diary is said to include diverse content: from instructions on how to make a friendship bracelet to a manifesto on teenage crushes, and even some art from Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Because being friends with the Mulleavy sisters and having sleepovers with 34-year-old writers is really something most teens experience.


Tyra Banks on her eyepiece: “Okay, so. In Modelland, this fantasy world that I created for my novel, if you find one of these—which I call a Smize— it increases your chances of getting into the most exclusive school in the entire world, the school that creates the most amazing supermodels called Intoxibellas. It increases your chances 90%.” [Styleite]

Adam Vossen, StyleCaster, on Tavi: “If the book contains even half of the wit and all-over-the-place pop culture references that Style Rookie has (Tavi calls Miss Havisham of Great Expectations an HBIC–I totally LOL’d) then I for one will totally buy it.” [StyleCaster]

Ellie Krupnick, Huffington Post, on Tyra: “To accomplish her goal of total cultural domination, Tyra has enrolled in Harvard Business School, shacking up in the dorms and studying alongside her stunned classmates. In addition, of course, to gunning for her Pulitzer for ‘Modelland’.” [Huffington Post]

Amy Odell, The Cut, on Tavi: “The soonest the book could come out [is] a year from now — assuming it sells. But it’s Tavi so it probably will.” [NYMag]


Michael White, Managing Editor: “It makes sense that Tyra’s book is a fantasy while Tavi’s is firmly grounded in reality. It reflects where both of them seem to live their everyday lives.”

More Style