This weekend supermodel, reality-TV personality, talk-show host and multi-hyphenate entrepreneur Tyra Banks wants to give you something to smile with your eyes about.
In 2009 the America’s Next Top Model host and producer coined the “smize,” a now-lexicon term that means smiling not with your mouth, but with your eyes, and today, she launches an ice cream shop in Santa Monica branded fully around it. That’s right, we’re getting a SMiZE Cream parlor (smizing not required for purchase).
Technically Banks’s confection is frozen custard, not ice cream, due to its higher egg yolk and milk fat content, and it comes in a range of flavors such as strawberry birthday cake with sprinkles; salted caramel with butter-roasted pecans; Chocolate Barbecue, involving a smoked-chocolate base, brownies and roasted almonds; and one titled The Best Vanilla I Ever Had. Banks isn’t responsible for the recipes themselves—she tapped a culinary team to help create and manufacture them, including food scientist and fellow reality-TV participant Dr. Maya Warren—and at the bottom of each cup, there’s a sprinkle-coated cookie-dough truffle in flavors that correspond to each variety of frozen custard.
You’ll be able to pick up flavors in prepackaged eight- and 14-ounce cups, and if you don’t happen to be anywhere near Banks’s ode to smizing and frozen custard, the brand also launches nationwide shipping today.
If you are in town, there’s a lot going on at SMiZE Cream’s new Santa Monica outpost, which sits at the base of the Santa Monica Place mall. To kick things off, Banks is hosting a giveaway for the first 50 customers when the shop opens at 4pm, and there’ll be an appearance by choreographer Hollywood, who’ll be teaching customers a dance for the occasion—there might, additionally, also be a taping for a music video.
Gold-painted records hang from the ceiling in a nod to DJ Splitz, the brand’s fictional cofounder and mascot, who lives an influencer-like life on an Instagram of her own, though nothing is as, uh, colorful and chaotic as SMiZE Cream’s own Instagram account, where you might find collage art of Banks looking into an ornate and ice-cream–decorated hand mirror in who’s-the-fairest-of-them-all fashion; posing in the cartoon apartment of DJ Splitz; and, naturally, eating SMiZE Cream on camera slowly before breathlessly asking, “Want some?”
Take a peek at SMiZE Cream’s first brick-and-mortar shop, below. If you haven’t been smizing since 2009 and need a refresher, let this tutorial from Banks and that chaotic-good SMiZE Cream account get your eyes squinting in preparation:
SMiZE Cream opens at 4pm Friday, July 2, on the ground floor of the Santa Monica Place mall, at 395 Santa Monica Pl. Find it open 1 to 9pm Monday to Friday, and noon to 9pm Saturday and Sunday.