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Banks on Banks... Mayor Weighs In at TechCrunch Conference... Rebel, Rebel...

Tyra Banks is interested in finding brands she can lend her name, reputation and image to, so think spokeswoman, not model.

BANKS ON…BANKS: There was practically, and unusually, almost radio silence in the Tyra Banks universe over the last few months, but the former model has spent the past week or so coming in loud and clear. Banks recently signed a one-year contract with IMG, stirring speculation she was aiming to return to high-fashion catwalks and photo shoots. Instead, she’s more interested in finding brands — in the lifestyle and fashion categories and beyond — she can lend her name, reputation and image to, so think spokeswoman, not model. “We already have some exciting deals in the works,” Banks told WWD.

She also provided a bit of background on the new deal between Italian Vogue and the high-fashion makeover that will happen during the next season of “America’s Next Top Model,” which her TV company produces. Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani initially reached out to Banks, stressing she wanted to expand into the American marketplace (hello, Anna!). As part of the new partnership, Sozzani agreed to give the winner of season 15 an Italian Vogue cover and two in-book fashion spreads. Banks also serves as a permanent contributor to the magazine’s Web site. “I see a lot more in store for Italian Vogue and Bankable Enterprises across multiple media platforms,” she added. The show is already in more than 100 countries and has 17 international editions.

And later this year, Banks has more in store when it comes to fashion. She’s the latest with plans to launch a new fashion and beauty online portal that is billed to be “unlike anything that’s currently available on the Web.” But isn’t that what they all say? — Amy Wicks

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