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Tyra Banks Will Not Return to Runway as Part of IMG Partnership, But Is Working with Franca Sozzani


>> Last week
, when Tyra Banks announced she was returning to IMG Models, questions rose about whether she would be returning to runways (she retired in 2005) — but it sounds like she's more interested in becoming a spokeswoman, lending her name and image to other brands, than anything else.

In a statement released, she noted: "The last time I was with IMG, I was set on taking on the modeling world in the high fashion and commercial sectors. Now I’m dreaming even bigger, but this time for my company as well. Aligning myself with brands that I believe in, and helping them achieve the kind of success they’re looking for, helps all of us as we grow our businesses."

And Ivan Bart, SVP of IMG Models, added: "IMG will help expand her relationships with companies through endorsements, and will assist her in developing business relationships with sponsors whose missions she feels strongly about."

More details about the America's Next Top Model-Vogue Italia partnership »

“We already have some exciting deals in the works,” Banks told WWD.

Speaking of partnerships, a little lowdown on the Vogue Italia-America's Next Top Model deal: Banks says that Franca Sozzani initially reached out because she wanted to expand into the American marketplace. Sozzani agreed to give Cycle 15 winner a cover plus two in-book editorials. “I see a lot more in store for Italian Vogue and Bankable Enterprises across multiple media platforms,” Banks said.

Tyra also has plans to launch a fashion and beauty portal online later this year.

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