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Tyra Banks and Demand Media launch Type F, a new fashion and beauty website


Tyra Banks just can't sit still. The supermodel, TV mogul and buddding novelist on Tuesday launched a fashion and beauty website, Type F, in conjunction with Demand Media, a content and social media company based in Santa Monica.

Like and other personalization-oriented websites, Type F strives to give users a highly unique experience. Plug in a slew of physical attributes (eye color, body shape, etc.), and it tailors the content to each user.

The emphasis here is more on jazzy applications than fresh fashion and beauty content. There's an app that walks users through Beauty School (teaching, for instance, how to master eyeliner) and another, the Daily Look, that encourages users to upload their daily ensembles and chat about them.

But the style and beauty articles -- i.e. "What kind of clothes should petite women wear?" and "When to wear a full slip" -- feel rather spiritless. Granted, creative story titles aren't the point; Demand Media's business model is steeped in search engine optimization, so it produces articles geared to popular online searches, and keeps the titles SEO-friendly to boot. It's a model that's worked, so far, for Demand-produced sites including and

The site's hijinks-filled video series with Banks and Vogue's Andre Leon Talley, "Fa Fa Fa Fashion," is miles more vibrant. In the first episode, the  larger-than-life personalities break down how to wear a trench coat ("It suggests high-octane mystery," notes Talley of the outerwear). Fun and casual, it's a great way to burn 3 minutes and 47 seconds at the office.

"This site is something that is ... connected to my mission — which is expanding the definition of beauty," Banks said during a conference call with the media Tuesday. The famous multitasker added that she wanted Type F to make women "Feel safe, feel beautiful and feel like they are special."

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: The home page of Type F. Credit: Type F.

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The content is cool. The website design, not so much. I think it can be much stronger. She is very talented and at some point, upgrade the site.


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