Andre Leon Talley, fashion icon and former longtime creative director of Vogue, has died aged 73, after battling an unknown illness.
An inspiration to many designers, writers and everyone involved in the fashion world, Talley paved the way for many and had an undeniable impact in the industry, known as a trailblazer, arrived in New York in 1974, quickly surrounding himself and collaborating with emblematic characters, such as Andy Warhol and Karl Lagerfeld.
Talley joined Vogue in 1983 as the magazine’s fashion information director, finding success as creative director and Anna Wintouris the right hand. He would later move to Paris in 1995, later in his career being awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, honoring his contribution to the fashion world.
During one of his interviews in 2017, he talked about his experience in the fashion industry; âI worked behind the scenes. I did it in soft tones, and I was persistent and tenacious…I always took on a very calm role. I didn’t scream and scream and scream… That was the best strategy, because that was the world I moved into. After all, it was Vogue, honey.
He would also describe his success in Paris with a message shared on social media; âTo be in the august and impeccable body of the Knights: Diana Vreeland, Tina Turner, James Baldwin, Rudolph Nureyev and for a black man educated in the public schools of Durham, North Carolina, I thank my French teacher, the late Cynthia P Smith, who enveloped me in French: the language, the culture, the style, the history and the literature.
Many of his friends are now sharing moving tributes remembering his life and successful career, including the designer Diana of Furstenberg who wrote “We will miss you”.