The former longtime creative director for Vogue and fashion icon Andre Leon Talley died on Tuesday, January 18. According to TMZ, he died of an unknown illness at the age of 73 in the White Plains Hospital in New York.
Andre became the first African-American creative director of Vogue in 1988. He was appointed at the post by Vogue icon Anna Wintour. Andre had talked about how his decades-long friendship with Anna had hit an 'iceberg' during the promotion of his memoir The Chiffon Trenches in 2020.
Social media mourned the death of the 'fashion pundit' and the former judge of America's Next Top Model. He was famously known for being a pioneer and having a trailblazing career in fashion.
Andre Leon Talley was born in Washington DC but was raised by his grandmother in Durham, North Carolina. He received a master's degree from Brown University and moved to New York in 1974. Talley joined Vogue in 1983 as news director, in 1988 he was promoted to creative director and later served as editor-at-large.
'I am fluid in my sexuality'
Andre Leon Talley always refrained from speaking about his sexuality in public, often referring to it as 'fluid.' During an appearance on Wendy Williams Show in 2018 answered the age-old question about his sexual orientation. "No, I'm not heterosexual; I'm saying I'm fluid in my sexuality, darling," he said.
His personal affairs were never a matter of public record. However, he once hinted that he was 'afraid to fall in love.' Talley also said that he had never been in a relationship, something he attributed to being abused as a child. "Diane von Furstenberg said, 'He was afraid to fall in love,' and I guess I was," he told New York Times.
'Andre Leon Talley was a walking encyclopedia of fashion'
Renowned names in the fashion industry remembered Andre Leon Talley on his demise and paid tribute, calling him a 'walking encyclopedia of fashion.' "He was a leader of high style and a walking piece of fashion history. Fashion of the 20th and 21st century wouldn't be the same without him. RIP Andre Leon Talley," one tweet read.