Ala'a Skyy Baytops shot to instant stardom last month (July 2019) after pop star Rihanna posted an image of the seven year old on her Instagram account, marvelling at their identical looks - and it appears Tyra couldn't believe the resemblance either.
"I lost my mind," she told Entertainment Tonight, explaining the lead character in her new Modelland world looks just like Rihanna too.
"Rihanna looks like Tookie, the lead girl in the Modelland story," she detailed. "I was like, 'Help me! Who is this girl? I want to find this girl and hopefully, possibly she can try out' - because she's got to act and do all that stuff to play little Tookie."
Tyra tracked her down and called Ala'a's mother to invite the little girl to audition for Modelland, a 21,000-square-foot, ticketed interactive attraction which the "America's Next Top Model" star describes as "Harry Potter meets Willy Wonka, meets Disneyland".
Modelland is currently under construction and Tyra is hand-selecting the models who will represent the ambitious project, revealing she is still looking to cast 14 people from the ages of 18 to "60-something".
"I am doing a big search for the very first Modelland models, and when I say models, I don't mean professional models that are signed to modelling agencies; I don't mean the stereotype look of what people think a model is," Banks explains. "At Modelland, we are redefining what a model is."
Modelland is set to open in Santa Monica, California later this year.