Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fiercely Frugal: Tyra Banks

Who knew? I've never actually seen Tyra's show, but here's my favorite part of the cover story about her in the New York Times Magazine:

She has no interest in owning the latest designer this or that — her wardrobe, which features form-hugging, low-cut dresses on air and jeans for the office, is mostly within the budget and desires of her audience. At the end of each taping, a photo of Banks, head to toe, is posted on the show’s Web site with links to information on where to purchase whatever she had on.

“I’m frugal,” she said. “I’ve always been this way. When I was young, my mom would give me my allowance, and I’d peel off a little each week and have some to spare.” She looked around the room, which had cream industrial carpeting and walls painted in a shade somewhere between cantaloupe and terra cotta. “When we moved into these offices, I didn’t like the carpet,” she continued. “But do you know what carpeting costs? It’s really expensive. So, I picked out a color palette that would go with this carpet, and I painted the walls instead. Painting is much less expensive than carpet.” She considered this decision for a moment. “One of the first things I ask when I hire someone who deals with the financials of the company is about their spending habits. How you spend money reveals a lot about you.”

Banks does not flaunt her income like some superstars. “As Chris Rock says,” Veronica Webb, who modeled with Banks, told me, “ ‘Tyra’s not drinking Puffy juice and taking Kanye injections.’ She hasn’t become obnoxious because she’s successful. She’s always been a businesswoman and a sweet girl.”

From her two shows, Banks makes an estimated $18 million a year, and her net worth is around $75 million.

Now that's my idea of model behavior!


Anonymous said...

Go, Tyra! A woman after my own heart. Maybe her modeling (groan) good financial habits will make a dent in all the Paris/Lindsey/Puff nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read! I remember reading something a while ago about another highly-paid model's financial situation - Maggie Rizer...her father had been managing her money and managed to spend a good chunk of it.

frugal zeitgeist said...

I was very impressed by her after reading the article.

Baron Brown said...

This is no surprise to me - most Tyra fans know of her frugality, and it makes her incredibly appealing to me. She was in another magazine one time talking about how she checks with her accountant for even the most meager of purchases, like a week of vacation in Hawaii (easily affordable on even a middle class budget) or a few designer outfits. She dresses herself and wears the makeup of a supermodel but she's very much within her means. I dig it!