André Leon Talley is dead! The former Vogue editor passed on on January 18, 2022, in New York. The news of his passing was announced to his fans on his Instagram page.
André Leon Talley accomplished a lot in the fashion industry. The visionary former creative director began his career at Vogue in 1983 and had a penchant for celebrating, nurturing, and discovering young talent in the design scopes.
In 1988, Talley was named the fashion bible's creative director. He climbed the rungs to become the editor-at-large, then reached the peak of his career when he became the first Black person to become Vogue's creative director.
Vogue Contributing Editor Andre Leon Talley speaks regarding "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between" during "Sunday At The Met: Andrew Bolton And Andre Leon Talley" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 18, 2017 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
A BOOMING CAREER
Standing at 6-foot-6, Talley towered over everyone else, and like his giant stature, his knack for fashion was equally as significant.
He loved his flowing robes and often sat at the front row of fashion shows. He advocated for diversity in the fashion industry, encouraging top designers to include more Black models in their shows.
He often said he loved bringing newness to fashion and nurtured it the best way he knew how. He worked at Vogue for years before pursuing a new opportunity as editor-in-chief for "Numero Russia," a Russian-style magazine.
In addition to being a fashion icon, Talley also contributed to the weekly newsletter Air Mail and has authored two memoirs, "The Chiffon Trenches" and "A.L.T.: A Memoir."
His trailblazing career and attention-grabbing garb aside, Talley had a tumultuous last year of his life. In the bitter high-end fashion fight, Talley fell out with the high-powered shoe exec George Malkemus.
Soon after, Malkemus launched legal action against the fashion icon to evict him from the $1 million New York mansion Talley said he owned.
According to reports by Page Six, Malkemus and his husband Anthony Yurgaitis own the palatial White Plains home, for which they were demanding Talley to pay upwards of $500,000 in rent arrears.
Talley claims the pair, his long-time close friends, agreed to buy the home for him and transfer the title once he paid them back the purchase amount. Complications arose because the parties did not put the agreement in writing.
However, as of January 2020, Talley claimed he'd paid the pair $1,075,588, which is more than the original purchase price. Following his predicaments, Stylist and designer Akeem Smith set up a GoFundMe page to raise the amount for Talley.
As of March 3, 2021, the page had $9,335, and Talley could not thank his fans enough for helping him through his challenging times. He appreciated the thoughtful gesture but deemed it unnecessary.