Legendary fashion icon, André Leon Talley has passed away at 73.
André Leon Talley quickly gained his fame and notoriety as the creative director of Vogue as he worked alongside Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.
As reported by TMZ, Vogue’s former creative director had been in the hospital battling unknown illnesses. Sources say that Talley passed away Tuesday at a hospital in New York.
André was a key component to the vision and overall aesthetic of Vogue in the ’80s and ’90s. He climbed the ladder in the ranks of Vogue’s magazine, becoming the news director from 1983-87 and then in ’88, ascended to Vogue’s creative director.
Talley was also an influential fashion journalist who worked at Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue and was a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe. Standing at 6-feet-6 inches tall with a loud personality, bold looks, and originality at its finest, you could not miss, André Leon Talley.
In a 2013 Vanity Fair spread titled “The Eyeful Tower,” Talley was described as “perhaps the industry’s most important link to the past.”
Talley left Vogue in 1995 and moved to Paris, where he returned to W Magazine after working at the publication earlier in his career.
Designer Tom Ford told the magazine Talley was “one of the last great fashion editors who have an incredible sense of fashion history. … He can see through everything you do to the original reference, predict what was on your inspiration board.”
Many also know André from his vibrant, unforgettable, and unmatched appearances in America’s Next Top Model as a judge. During ANTM deliberations, Talley appeared alongside the judging panel with host Tyra Banks, creative director Jay Manuel, runway coach J. Alexander and Nigel Barker. André remained on the tv series through four cycles, departing after the completion of its 17th season.
Talley was prominent for pioneering the way for African-Americans to become trendsetters and fashion influencers in the United States. Andre was also not just a fashion legend, but a LGBT icon as well. While the poise and dignified Andre never publicly said he was gay he was very open about his sexuality and expression.
In May 2020, Andre Leon Talley released a memoir about his life and career, titled The Chiffon Trenches, which dates his rise from the front porch of his grandmother’s home in Durham, North Carolina, to the front line of fashion.