Anyone who lives, breathe, devour and conquer fashion knows these are the words that stands out to describe our iconic former “Vogue” Creative Director and Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley.
The baronial cape, gloves and gallant head piece wearing 6 foot 6 fashionista genius, made his genteel appearance grand, bold and fierce whenever he arrived in a room and sat with elegance.
Mr. Talley, who earned his elite status from the mid 70’s in the fashion industry, majored in French studies at North Carolina Central University and received a master’s from Brown University.
Mr. Talley, who once wrote a thesis on the influence of Black women in Baudelaire and Flaubert, and in the paintings of Delacroix, loved art and it was greatly expressed in many of his vocabulary descriptive phrases of fashion “My eyes are starving for beauty”
Obsessed with Vogue and fashion, Mr. Talley’s dreams soon came true from a once in a lifetime chance meeting with editor Carrie Donovan, then working at Vogue, convinced him that he had to move to New York, and in 1974 he volunteered to help Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
Mr. Talley lived in New York, Paris and worked for many legendary iconic fashion industry enthusiasts such as Andy Warhol (Interview Magazine), John Burr Fairchild (Women’s Wear Daily) and Anna Wintour (Vogue Magazine), who’s opportunities lead him to meet and dine with Fendi designer, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.
Naomi Campbell, Michelle Obama, are amongst many of who were friends of Mr. Talley, as he was also a fashion advisor and mentor to numerous iconic world renowned fashion designers who all became friends with Mr. Talley, who soon became the grandiloquent prominent elite in the world of fashion that many would come to admire from around the world.
Mr. Talley who’s deep rooted childhood religion continued into his adulthood at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, as he would always invite celebrities and fashion icons to worship with him at church service
André Leon Talley was also a generous giver and supporter of his church and many organizations. He was a firm believer of educators who loved fashion as much as he did.
The world of Fashion mourns the passing of André Leon Talley, who fused his love for both fashion and art. We will never forget his eloquent flare for both. Rest forever in perfect peace.