Vogue magazine’s first African-American creative director André Leon Talley has died at the age of 73.

Talley’s literary agent David Vigliano confirmed the news of his death on Tuesday (18 January).

The former editor-at-large of Vogue died at a hospital in White Plains, New York. The exact cause of his death has not been revealed.

Talley was Vogue magazine’s fashion news director from 1983 to 1987, and then its first African-American creative director from 1988 to 1995.

Often regarded as a fashion icon, he was known for advocating for diversity in the global fashion industry.

Talley also served as a stylist for former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Last year, France awarded Talley the ‘Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ honor. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

In 2007, Talley was ranked 45th in Out magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”.

Many colleagues and fans of the fashion journalist have paid tribute to him on social media.

“Good bye darling André,” wrote Belgian designer Diane von Furstenberg. “No one saw the world in a more elegant and glamorous way than you did.”

She added: “No one was more soulful and grander than you were… the world will be less joyful now. I have loved you and laughed with you for 45 years… I will miss your loud screams and your loyal friendship… I love you soooo much.”

Preston Mitchum, the Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for the Trevor Project wrote: “André Leon Talley made it possible for so many Black queer boys and men to express ourselves out loud.”

“No reservations. A legend. An icon. May he rest in peace and power knowing that he paved the way for many people who looked up to him.”

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