André Leon Talley, the fashion icon and a famed Vogue editor, died on Tuesday. He was a 73-year-old fashion and creative diva. The news was confirmed through a statement from his official Instagram account.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of André Leon Talley on January 18, 2022, in New York,” the statement read. “Mr. Talley was the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world’s fashion bible.”
The news of Talley’s departure circulated over social media like a wildfire. Talley was in the hospital battling an unknown disease according to the reports shared over the internet.
He had been in the discussions for the work he did to shape US Vogue magazine and other fashion work for popular magazines. From 1983-1987 he was the fashion news editor at Vogue and worked as a creative director 1988-1995 for the same. A position that he kept till 2013 was editor-at-large.
The deceased later took charge of Numéro Russia magazine but remained connected with Vogue as an editor till his last breath. In 2019, he honored his late friend, designer Karl Lagerfeld with a piece of writing who passed the same year.
Talley also managed to contribute to many other fashion magazines like The New York Times, Interview Magazine, and Women’s Wear Daily. He was honored to be a subject of a documentary The Gospel According to André, released in 2018.
Talley was indeed a pioneer of fashion trends and developing the fashion industry. In Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2017 he explained how it is challenging for him as an editor to stand out of the crowd and promote diversity on the fashion magazine’s glossy pages.
“I worked behind the scenes. I did it in dulcet tones, and I was persistent and tenacious….I always assumed a very quiet role. I didn’t scream and yell and shout….That was the best strategy because that was the world I moved in. After all, it was Vogue, darling,” he told host Tamron Hall.
André Leon Talley was taken to Durham, North Carolina by his parents when he was two months old. He was then raised by Bennie Francis Davis, his grandmother.
In a memoir 2020, “The Chiffon Trenches,” He explained the immense joy of indulging himself in the books at a city library in Durham “My world became the glossy pages of Vogue, where I could read about Truman Capote’s legendary ball, given at the Plaza, in honor of Katharine Graham,” he wrote.
He wrote while recalling the emotions he felt when Edward Enninful was elected the first Black editor-in-chief for British Vogue magazine. This was the same year when Talley’s statement initiated a shockwave throughout the fashion world by mentioning the lack of black talent in the most popular magazine – Vogue. “At one point, I was the only Black person on Anna’s staff,” he told MailOnline.
Talley stayed off social media when a financial mess surrounded him in 2021 over the possession of a Westchester mansion (which initially belonged to the ex-CEO of Manolo Blahnik) where he used to live in 2004.
After getting the saddening news of André Leon Talley’s death, friends and family took over social media platforms and honored his memories by sharing their condolences.
The designer Diane von Fürstenberg wrote on his Instagram;
“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 ❤️🙏.”
Editor in chief in The Cut, Lindsay Peoples Wagner wrote on Instagram post;
“Not even sure how to wrap my mind around all you’ve done, and the legacy you’ve left behind, but you gave us hope and aspirations that we never would have dreamed if it hadn’t been for you, Andre.”
Marc Jacobs shared an old photograph in which he was paired with Talley and wrote; “I am in shock. You championed me and you have been my friend since my beginning. Our chats, the moments we shared….oh my friend. You and your passions were larger than life. I love you and I will miss you, dear Andre. Rest In Peace.”