Who could forget fashion icon André Leon Talley, all six foot six of him, his fabulous and often vibrant flowing capes and caftans, his unmistakable voice and presence, all of which said ever so clearly; I belong here!
André Leon Talley has died at 73, but he will certainly live on in history books and films on fashion and style as a Black American man who beat the odds to become admired and respected in an industry where blacks often faced a closed door.
The former Vogue magazine creative director and fashion editor had a virtually encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history. He was a star in the industry, in a front row seat at virtually every fashion show that mattered in New York and Europe. He was at the top of the list of must have attendees at New York’s exclusive Met Gala and he was a fixture on the ground-breaking show America’s Top Model. All of this and his reveals on a tight-lipped industry through his penning of the spicy memoir Chiffon Trenches; will guarantee his place in fashion history.
But, even more so, what will cement him as a man to be respected and admired, is the work he did in front of cameras, and behind the scenes advocating for the inclusion of Black, Latina and Asian models, fashion designers and television producers in an industry that for too long was just white. The tributes are pouring in and rightly so. RIP Sir Talley!
For further insight, check out these articles from ABC and the Guardian…
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