J. Alexander has taken credit for teaching Tyra Banks how to walk the runway.
The America’s Next Top Model judge and coach, known as J. Alexander or Miss J, had been modelling for French designer Jean Paul Gaultier in the early ’90s and became an unofficial catwalk coach when he would watch the shows in Paris and gave everyone “free catwalk advice”.
It was around that time he met a young Tyra at a show backstage, and the stunning model became his student.
“I first met Tyra Banks backstage and I started giving her tips on her walk. After I gave her ‘catwalk tricks’ she came into the modelling world with a walk and a purpose,” he told Teen Vogue.
The pair then struck up a friendship, before eventually working together on America’s Next Top Model with Tyra as host and head judge, and Miss J originally given the task of coaching the contestants for the runway.
“It was an honour to have her name me the Queen of the Catwalk,” Miss J gushed.
However, the role became too much when he was also made a judge on the U.S. modelling competition, and after 13 years, he’s taking some much-needed time off, and is now coaching fashion students at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
“Every year, I am blown away by the talent that SCAD’s award-winning fashion degree programme displays on the runways,” the 61-year-old shared. “If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were at New York Fashion Week watching designers who have shown for decades.”
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