I write, “Talley was a larger than life icon, a luxury connoisseur bred in Durham, North Carolina during the Jim Crow era, who ascended to the top ranks at Vogue Magazine in the 80’s and 90’s. Lauded not only for his vast knowledge of clothing, history, and art, he was also a social savant who managed to meld somewhat seamlessly into the exclusive set of editors, designers, and the ultra rich. As such, he was frequently the only black man perched on the front row next to the most powerful woman in fashion, Anna Wintour, who admitted in Talley’s biopic, The Gospel According to Andre, that she kept him close because she respected and depended on his exceptional style expertise.”
Credit: Getty Images
“More than a fashion editor, Talley made history as the first African-American to hold such prestigious positions in the fashion industry. The State of Fashion spoke to industry insiders from our community about Talley’s impact on their lives–and his lasting legacy.”
NEW YORK CITY, NY – FEBRUARY 11: Teri Agins and Andre Leon Talley attend At the Proenza Schouler Fashion Show at at the Studio on February 11, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Former Wall Street Journal Editor Teri Agins said, “He had this encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history. He also was a connoisseur. He didn’t just know clothes, he knew 18th century furniture, he knew art, he knew crystal and silver and jewels. I see him as an incredible fashion historian, journalist, and stylist. He was a bon vivant. He was an Original.”
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What is Andre Leon Talley’s legacy to you?