André Leon Talley, an influential fashion journalist and the former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, has died at 73 in New York. His death was confirmed by many publications through his literary agent David Vigliano.

Talley served as Vogue’s fashion news director from 1983 to 1987 and then its creative director from 1988 to 1995. Talley was also a judge on “America’s Next Top Model” and was profiled in a 2018 documentary by director Kate Novack titled “The Gospel According to André.” The film was screened in September 2016 at the Toronto Film Festival and was released in the U.S. on May 25, 2018.

Reviewer Katie Walsh called the film “a fascinating look at the self-invented André Leon Talley, a bold, daring creation who never let anything obstruct his passions, curiosities and whims.”

Talley often spoke of the challenges he had climbing the ranks of the fashion world as a larger Black man. Racism and other -isms were obstacles to success, and he addressed many of them in the film.

“How did I overcome that kind of racism? I internalized and struggled with it. … I ignored it at the time… I had family and faith and [the late former Vogue editor] Mrs. [Diana] Vreeland and [the late former Women’s Wear Daily editor in chief] Mr. [John] Fairchild.

“It’s been through pluck, luck and survival skills.”

Talley also gained fame as an advisor to the Obama family on fashion. He introduced Michelle Obama to designer Jason Wu, who then created her inaugural gown.

Talley wrote numerous books, including two memoirs, and released “The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” on May 19, 2020. In it, he discusses getting his start in New York City in the 1970s, his relationship with Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and fighting racism in the fashion world.





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