He was the first black man named creative director of American
Andre Leon Talley, died Tuesday in New York at the age of 73.
"An international icon for the past five decades, he was the close confidant of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Paloma Picasso, Diane von Furstenberg and loved discovering, encouraging and celebrating young creators", recalls the press release announcing his disappearance published on his Instagram account.
Born in Washington in 1948, Andre Leon Talley was largely raised by his grandmother in Durham, North Carolina, and became interested in fashion at a very young age.
"Every Sunday I would walk across the train tracks to the affluent part of Durham to buy
, and come back to my grandmother's to read my magazines," he told the
in 2020. away from harassment and sexual assault and take refuge in a world of beauty”.
He had studied French in college, earning a master's degree from the prestigious Brown University before entering the world of fashion journalism.
A flagship duo with Anna Wintour
After spending time
with Andy Warhol 's
Interview magazine, the
Women's Wear Daily
and a brief stay at the
New York Times
, he joined
as director of fashion information in 1983, the same year as Anna Wintour who became its editor. chief. He will remain there for thirty years, until his departure in 2013, with the titles of creative director or editor-in-chief, forming a flagship duo with Anna Wintour.
This exuberant colossus wanted more diversity on the catwalks and supported black designers.
Besides his activities as a fashion journalist, he was a judge on the reality show
America's Next Top Model
and also made appearances in some episodes of the series
Sex and The City
He has written three books including his 2020 memoir (
The Chiffon Trenches
), a bestseller in which he recounts his famous falling out with the all-powerful Anna Wintour.
RIP Andre Leon Talley.
Rest well King ❤️ 📸@etnow pic.twitter.com/A6d2eA1m39
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 19, 2022
The world of fashion and culture paid tribute to him on social networks.
"Farewell dear Andre (...) no one has seen the world in a more chic and elegant way than you," wrote designer Diane de Furstenberg on Instagram.
"I loved you and laughed with you for 45 years."
Oscar-winning actresses Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis tweeted their sadness, as did
author Jeremy O. Harris, who tweeted that "for a gay black boy who wanted to reach for the stars from the South , there were few people up there among the stars who looked like me, only more sublime, and who I could look up to, except you, Andre”.
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