A Look At The Legacy Of The Legendary André Leon Talley

The pioneering fashion editor has died at 73.

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André Leon Talley, a famed journalist and former Vogue creative director, died on Jan. 18, 2022. He was 73. Ahead, take a look back at Talley’s fashion legacy and celebrated career.

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A diligent student, Talley received a full-ride scholarship to Brown University to earn a Master of Arts degree in French literature. At Brown, he wrote a thesis on the influence of Black women on Charles Baudelaire and initially planned to teach French.Images Press/Archive Photos/Getty Images


Talley started his career in fashion as a volunteer assistant to Diana Vreeland, a former Vogue editor-in-chief and a special consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That fellowship then landed him a job at Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine.Michel Dufour/WireImage

1975 Through 1980

Talley put his language skills to work as he went on to work as the Paris bureau chief at Women’s Wear Daily. He also worked at The New York Times and other publications before becoming Vogue’s fashion news director in 1983.Frank Trapper/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images


Talley was a close confidant to many influential figures in the world of fashion, including Anna Wintour. Under Wintour, he was assigned to work on noteworthy projects like Madonna’s first Vogue cover and produced numerous features on the late Karl Lagerfeld. George De Sota/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1988 Through 1995

As Vogue’s creative director, Talley used his position and influence to champion the work of up-and-coming Black designers like Stephen Burrows and Patrick Robinson. Talley also pushed for more Black models to appear in runway shows and ad campaigns.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images


Talley received the Eugenia Sheppard Award for outstanding fashion journalism from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.Evan Agostini/Getty Images


Talley was ranked 45th in Out magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America” — although he refused to put a label on his sexual orientation. “I’m fluid in my sexuality, darling,” he said during his appearance on The Wendy Williams Show.James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images


Sex and the City fans might recall Talley’s cameo appearance on the cult series. As Vogue’s fashion editor-at-large, he assisted Carrie at her pre-wedding bridal photoshoot.Youtube


The fashion journalist notably served as a style advisor to the Obama family. Talley famously introduced then First Lady Michelle Obama to Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu, who later made her inaugural gown.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

2010 Through 2011

Talley served on the judging panel for America’s Next Top Model from March 2010 to December 2011. His fashion credentials added gravitas to the reality TV show while his dynamic personality shined on-screen.Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images


Talley and Lagerfeld at a Chanel show. “I’ve known Karl since 1975...” wrote Talley in Vogue. “Karl mentored me in everything: French history, literature, the history of fashion, art. From our first moments, we were like the brother each of us wished we had, true siblings.”Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Chanel


Over the course of his life, Talley wrote and published many books. His latest read, titled The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, delved into his experiences with racism in the fashion world.Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images


Talley was honored with the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The award recognizes artists and writers who have contributed greatly to the arts in France. Past recipients include Meryl Streep, Tina Turner, and James Baldwin.Mark Von Holden/Getty Images for Montblanc

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