Tyra Banks recently told WWD that she toned down her look for the next season of America's Next Top Model, in which André Leon Talley takes a seat on the judge's panel for the very first time. Last night following the Blonds' fashion show, Jay Manuel explained, "What she means by toned down is she wasn’t wearing any kind of weave pieces. She’s got her own natural hair. She’s still got a lot — she’s still got her makeup on and she’s still Tyra. But it’s kind of more that French sophistication as opposed to that kind of Tyra-fied look."
He added that while they were filming in New Zealand, André would visit showrooms of young designers and bring him back presents. "He’d be out there and say, ‘Oh, these glasses are so Jay Manuel, he’s gotta have them.’ And I’d come back and they’d be in my trailer and I’d be like ‘André!’" Jay raved. "He really is all-knowing. I mean, he’s super-articulate. He’s phenomenal. But I know with a lot of these fashion people we kind of think they’re snooty, it’s an elitist club, but he really isn’t. He’s a sweet pussycat — he’s not this big roar kind of like following Anna Wintour."