André Leon Talley, who quickly rose to fame as Vogue’s creative director and Anna Wintour’s right-hand, departed the world at 73!
The fashion legend and former creative director of Vogue magazine died battling an undisclosed illness on Tuesday, TMZ confirmed.
“André Leon Talley, the towering former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, has died. He was 73. Talley was an influential fashion journalist and a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe”, Tweeted the Associated Press.
Right after the legend died, the death news circulated on the internet with Belgian-born designer and entrepreneur, Diane von Fürstenberg, expressing, “Goodbye darling André ❤️🙏… No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you did ❤️🙏… no one was grander and more soulful than you were ❤️🙏…the world will be less joyful ❤️🙏 I have loved you and laughed with you for 45 years…. I miss your loud screams …I love you soooo much ❤️🙏.”
Talley’s associates did not respond to the comments’ request, People told.
Reportedly, the fashion icon was admitted to a hospital residing in New York City, where he took his last breath. Later, his agent, David Vigliano, confirmed the death news.
The 6’7 inches, larger-than-life character, Talley, has been known for his unique fashion sense, biting comments, and prominent appearances. He was famous for making bold statements with his kaftan, robes, and hats styles.
Talley championed diversity in his six-decade career span by using his platform.
Scriptwriter, Jeremy O’Harris, wrote, “For a little black gay boy who reached for the stars from the south there were few people I could look up to up there amongst the stars who looked like me just more fab except for you André.
“For a generation of boys André Leon Talley was a beacon of grace and aspiration.”
The North Carolina-born, Talley has always been a fashion advocate, recalling in his The Chiffon Trenches memoir, released in 2020, how the young Talley would go to libraries to read Vogue copies, which came to personify “a world in which bad things never happened”.
While speaking to a news outlet, Talley recalled how his university students used to bully him as he crossed the institute to get Vogue magazines on Sundays.
In 1974, Talley got a chance to enter the fashion industry as an intern for Diana Vreeland, the former editor at Vogue. Impressed with his potential, Vreeland introduced the young boy to her contacts at Interview magazine and Andy Warhol’s Factory, where he worked for a while as a receptionist.
Later, Talley began serving popular publications, including the New York Times as a writer, however, it was Vogue where he got his well-deserved ranks and opportunities as he hopped on the news director position there.
In 1995, he left the company as a creative director. However, he came back just three years later and continued his work as an editor till 2013.
Talley’s long-standing work relationship with Anna Wintour became the selling point for his famous, The Chiffon Trenches memoir, in which he took some implacable hotshots at Wintour, who was also his former boss and a good colleague. Talley felt that “I lost favors as I had suddenly become too old, too overweight and too uncool”. He wrote, Anna Wintour “was incapable of simple human kindness and never really passionate about clothes. Power was her passion.”
In his book, the deceased fashion icon also detailed how he suffered sexual abuse as a child and has endured racism and sizeism throughout his career.
Talley had never talked about his sexuality. All he had been saying was that he is “fluid”. During an interview with a news outlet, he revealed that he had never been in a relationship and that “I gave it all to my career.”
“Diane von Furstenberg said, ‘He was afraid to fall in love,’ and I guess I was. I guess I was afraid, and I guess I was repressed. I grew up in a very strict household. But being in this world, moving around with all these incredible people … it was enough for me to have the friendship of Karl or the friendship of Yves Saint Laurent or the friendship of Azzedine Alaïa.”