The Fashion Industry Pays Tribute to the Late André Leon Talley

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2022No comments

André Leon Talley, former Vogue’s editor, died at the age of 73 due to a heart attack earlier this week. Talley was a larger-than-life figure in the fashion industry, known for his extravagant capes and contacts in designer studios from Paris to New York, including the likes of Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, and Marc Jacobs. He was an American fashion journalist, stylist, and creative director, before becoming the editor-at-large of Vogue magazine.

When news broke that he had passed, many of his famous friends took to social media to pay tribute to him and express their grief. He was dubbed as the ‘pharaoh of fabulosity’, and was renowned for his contagious enthusiasm across the industry. Many have described him as compassionate, generous, colourful, and loving. 

Beloved friend and fellow Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, shares her thoughts on the sad news saying, “The loss of André as my colleague and friend is immeasurable. He was magnificent, erudite, and wickedly funny. Mercurial, too.”

Talley started in fashion with an unpaid apprenticeship to Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, from there he went to work at Andy Warhol’s Interview, Women’s Wear Daily, and the New York Times before securing the fashion news director job at Vogue in 1983. He was celebrated for being the first black man to hold this role at Vogue and was often recognised as the only black person to sit front row at fashion shows. 

Talley was born in Washington in 1948 and went to Brown University to complete a master’s degree in French literature. When his documentary, The Gospel According to André, was released, he told Vogue, “I loved my home and family, I went to school and church…but I knew life was bigger than this. I wanted to meet Diana Vreeland and Andy Warhol, and I did, and I’ve never looked back.”

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