One of a kind

André Leon Talley, the pioneering fashion editor, has died aged 73
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 19 January 2022

Representatives for André Leon Talley have announced the death of the famed fashion icon, following complications with Covid.

Few figures in fashion have been held in such high-regard, nor conjure up the same gravitas and charisma, as Talley. A household name to some, a fashion legend to others, the North Carolina-helmed writer, stylist and creative director has long been synonymous with the changing tides of the industry, straddling the old guard and the new with a rich historical repertoire and an undying love for the arts. Armed with his voluminous, show-stopping capes, he delighted us year after year on the front rows and red carpets of countless events, driven by an insatiable hunger for beauty.

André Leon Talley for Ugg, 2021

Talley got his start in the industry in 1974, assisting the legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland as an unpaid apprentice with her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. From here, he went to Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, then WWD, W, The New York Times and eventually, Vogue, fulfilling a dream set in stone since childhood as the title’s fashion news director and eventual creative director. After leaving the role in 1995, he returned three years later to work alongside Anna Wintour as the publication’s editor-at-large, responsible for some of the title’s most memorable editorials and infinitely quotable fashion moments (see The September Issue), until his departure in 2013.

But besides a slew of iconic cameos in the likes of Sex and the City, America’s Next Top Model, and one particularly scene-stealing Mariah Carey music video, Talley is perhaps best known as a major arbiter of change in the fashion space. Speaking out against injustice and pushing countless designers and publications to spotlight Black talent throughout a lengthy career, there isn’t a corner of the industry he hasn’t influenced, with many of his close friends and colleagues taking to their respective social media’s to share their condolences. “Without you, there would be no me,” read a post by Edward Enninful. “No one saw the world in a more elegant and glamorous way than you did,” said Diane von Furstenberg.

Andrew Leon Talley walking for Yohji Yamamoto SS99

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