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André Leon Talley Celebration of Life

Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty

A fashion legend passed away, and he was sent home in spectacular fashion.

André Leon Talley was known to cover fashion from all angles, whether it be writing, creative directing, or styling. Throughout his time in the industry, he held positions at regal brands like Vogue as an editor at large, which led to lifelong connections who honored him at his memorial this weekend.

Talley passed away on January 18 due to complications of a heart attack and COVID-19, but his memorial wasn’t held until May as famed fashion pioneers came out to pay their respects to their dear friends. Friday morning at 84th Street and Fifth Avenue’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, people like Noami Campbell, Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Kimora Lee Simmons, Gayle King, and Martha Stewart.

Wintour worked alongside Talley for years at Vogue before things went sour as the fashion landscape began to evolve. However, she spoke fondly of her longtime friend at the homegoing ceremony.

“Like all of us here today, I felt lucky to consider him part of my family,” she said. “He taught me to speak fearlessly and to see from the heart. I miss him in moments of sadness, but most of all, moments of joy.”

Talley was unapologetically himself at all times and didn’t hesitate to blend his personal and professional life when possible. This included when he took Naomi Campbell and Diane von Furstenberg to visit family and childhood friends in his hometown of North Carolina, where he learned what luxury meant from his grandmother, who worked at nearby Duke University.

“It was touching to see how close you still were with all of them. They told us funny stories about you, and they’re all so proud of following the journey of your life,” von Furstenberg said. “You spoke perfect French, the language you wanted to learn; you traveled to all the places you wanted to see; you met all the people you wanted to meet, and you became intimate friends with the ones you admired most.”