The nation is in mourning after André Leon Talley, a true icon in the fashion journalism community, passed away.
News broke during the wee hours of Wednesday morning in a statement posted to Talley’s official Instagram account. “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of André Leon Talley on January 18, 2022 in New York,” it began, addressing the late legend as “the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world’s fashion bible.”
After working with Women’s Wear Daily in Paris, Talley joined Vogue in 1983. He spent his first five years as the publication’s news director, before being promoted to creative director in 1988 and then editor-at-large. Talley used his influence to break down barriers and make space for the Black community in fashion (a world historically consumed with whiteness, elitism, and European beauty standards). Talley is also treasured for using his own personal sense of fashion to redefine societal constraints surrounding Black masculinity.
“My fashion evolved from my growing up in the South. First, I had a sense of style that was traditional and impeccable – suits and white shirts and the luxury of beautiful clothes to go to church in. I evolved from that. I was wearing suits up until about the age of 40, 45. I evolve my own style based on my own historical research into iconic people like Louis XIV or Louis XV, or the French courts, or the traditional wear of North African men – shirts to the floor or djellabas or kaftans or baboosh, the slide without the back,” he once said of his extraordinary style, before delving into his love for a comfortable shoe.
It goes without saying, but there will never be another André Leon Talley. So, in honor of the industry giant we’ve gathered some of his freshest moments. Get into his royal aura below. May the King rest in peace.