January 19, 2022
Photo: John Bright / Magnolia Pictures
The larger-than-life fashion journalist, author and former creative director/editor-at-large of Vogue, André Leon Talley, has passed away at the age of 73. The Durham, North Carolina native who grew up with his grandmother, Binnie Francis Davis, a cleaning lady at Duke University, graduated from Hillside High School in 1966 and North Carolina Central University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature, eventually earning a Master of Arts degree in French literature in 1972 at Brown University.
“It is with great sadness we announce the passing of André Leon Talley on January 18, 2022, in New York,” a statement on his Instagram reads, “Mr. Talley was the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world’s fashion bible. Over the past five decades as an international icon was a close confidant of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Paloma Picasso, Diane von Furstenberg, Bethann Hardison, Manolo Blahnik and he had a penchant for discovering, nurturing and celebrating young designers.”
In 2018, André Leon Talley was the subject of a documentary titled The Gospel According to André. Directed by Kate Novack and featuring appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Bethann Hardison, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik, the film captures an intimate portrait of the trailblazing style icon who became the first Black creative director of Vogue in 1988.