Former ‘Vogue’ Creative Director André Leon Talley dead at 73

André Leon Talley, who built his career as a fashion commentator at Vogue magazine has died aged 73. Talley is reported to have died at a hospital in White Plains, New York where he had lived for many years.

An influential commentator in the fashion world he had a long association with Vogue magazine and was of the most prominent Black and queer people in the fashion industry for decades. He is well known to younger audiences through being a judge on America’s Next Top Model.

Talley was raised n North Dakota by his grandmother, growing up in America’s south he experienced racism regularly due to segregation that still existed in the 1950’s. He began his love of fashion when he discovered Vogue magazine in his local library when he was just 9 or 10 years old.

After graduating high school in 1966 he got a place at North Carolina Central University where he graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor degree in French Literature. He went on to study at Brown University where he earned a Masters degree.

In the early 1970s he took on unpaid position working for former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From here he was introduced to artist Andy Warhol and began working at his iconic magazine Interview. Talley later worked at W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily serving as their Paris Bureau Chief.

In 1983 he joined Vogue magazine as the Fashion News Editor, and later he moved into the position of Creative Director. From 1995 he served as an Editor at Large at Vogue, as he took on challenges with other publications alongside his work with magazine he fell in love with as a child. He left the publication in 2013.

Talley was the focus of a documentary about his life which screened at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival a few years ago.

OIP Staff

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