André Leon Talley, the legend who was influential both in the fashion world as a whole and as a fashion journalist at Vogue, has died at the age of 73.
Andre Leon Talley, a former US Vogue editor and a fashion visionary, died at the age of 73. Talley died in a hospital in White Plains, New York, according to reports. Talley’s career is closely linked to Vogue, where he worked for three decades, rising through the ranks from head of the fashion news division to creative director before becoming editor-at-large.
Talley’s death was confirmed through the figure’s official Instagram page.
Talley’s particular sense of style has made him familiar with diaphanous robes designed in flowing fabrics, and he traces his love of fashion to the church he attended as a child in North Carolina. Talley, who was born in 1948, discovered his first Vogue magazine in a church library when he was nine years old, and so began a relationship that would span decades and come to define a chunk of his life.
His first job in fashion was with the iconic Diana Vreeland, followed by a term at Interview magazine, which was still run by Andy Warhol at the time. Talley subsequently moved on to Women’s Wear Daily, where he worked his way up to become the Paris bureau chief.
Among Talley’s many accomplishments, his push for more Black voices among designers and models was a significant influence in bringing diversity to the runway. Talley was an instantly recognisable presence at all events, often dressed in flowing robes and caftans. Talley was also a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ movement; while he did not specifically identify his sexuality, he called himself as “fluid.” Throughout his career, Talley was noted for his efforts to create greater space for people of colour in fashion, as well as to give back to the community that reared him, all while standing out as the first African-American man to become a voice of authority in fashion.
Talley wrote two books, The Chiffon Trenches and A.L.T., was a judge on several seasons of the hit show Project Runway, made cameos on pop-culture mainstays like Sex and the City and The September Issue, a Met Gala documentary, and was the subject of the biographical documentary, The Gospel According to Andre.
Today, fashion lost another giant, and his work leaves a lasting legacy that will not be forgotten.
All Images: Courtesy André Leon Talley’s Instagram