The first African-American creative director in Vogue Magazin's history, André Leon Talley, has died at the age of 73. The cause of death has not yet been revealed.The former editor-in-chief of "Vogue" died in a hospital in White Plains, New York. The official announcement was made Tuesday, January 18, by Talley's agent, David Vigliano.
Considered a true fashion icon, Talley was a well-known name in the global fashion industry. For example, he was the stylist of the Obamas when Barack was President and Michelle was The First Lady.
Who Was André Leon Talley
André Leon Talley studied French literature at Carolina Central University, then earned a master's degree in French literature at Brown University. It was a childhood dream for him to live and work in the City of Lights.
He was the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world's fashion emblem. Talley headed "Vogue's" fashion news department from 1983 to 1987, then became the first African-American creative director in the publication's history, serving from 1988 to 1995.
Over the past five decades as an international icon was a close confidant of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Paloma Picasso, Diane von Furstenberg, Bethann Hardison, Manolo Blahnik and he had a penchant for discovering, nurturing, and celebrating young designers. His byline appeared in Vanity Fair, HG, Interview, Ebony, and Women's Wear Daily and he was the editor of Numero Russia.
Talley - A World Famous Fashion Icon
Talley wrote several books, including Valentino, A.L.T.: A Memoir, A.L.T. 365+ and Little Black Dress for Assouline, and contributed to Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table and Cartier Panthère.
He was the subject of the documentary The Gospel According to André and his recent memoir, The Chiffon Trenches became a New York Times Best Seller.
In 2014, he was named artistic director of Zappos Couture, and he has been on the Board of Trustees of Savannah College of Art and Design since 2000.
André Leon Talley was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Republic in 2020 and the North Carolina Governor's award for literature in 2021.
In recent years, Talley has appeared on the television show "America's Next Top Model" as a juror and ultimate judge, as he was called.