Preview

Lady Gaga’s Haus of Gaga and Tyra Banks’ Modelland establish experiential attractions for consumers, but is it enough to de-risk the precarity of celebrity-driven brands?

WHAT HAPPENED: With Haus of Gaga opening in Las Vegas to showcase and sell the pop star’s apparel, and Tyra Banks’ Modelland theme park opening in Santa Monica, CA, celebrities are attempting to envelop consumers in their world.

Why it matters

  • Both Haus of Gaga and Modelland combine experiential elements that are likely to gain traction with consumers, as you read in Retail as entertainment, entertainment as retail. Lady Gaga’s venture, an extension of her Las Vegas show “Enigma,” is a 1,600-square-foot space that exhibits approximately 50 items from the singer’s archives, some of which are for sale. Meanwhile, Tyra Banks’ theme park, set to open in late 2019, encompasses 21,000 square feet and combines retail, catwalks, dining and special events—“A place where everyone can be a model,” according to her Instagram post.

  • Like Disneyland’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park (a 14-acre land that cost $1 billion to create), Haus of Gaga and Modelland let visitors live, breathe and interact with a different world. In actuality, the fictional Batuu and the celebrity worlds of Lady Gaga or Tyra Banks aren’t that different, all of them immersing consumers in a foreign environment. The cultural capital of both celebrities is far-reaching, which Modelland in particular seems ready to capitalize on, calling its initial theme park a permanent flagship while alluding to a “global strategy.” Providing spaces where consumers can participate in a new world will likely protect these celebrity brands more than product-driven businesses, but Modelland is better poised for longevity. Even though it’s a world created by Banks, it’s defined by its attendees rather than the model herself.

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