Pioneering fashion journalist André Leon Talley dies at 73

Andre Leon Talley
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 19, 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — André Leon Talley, a towering and highly visible figure of the fashion world who made history as a rare Black editor in an overwhelmingly white industry, has died.

He was 73.

The death Tuesday of Talley, the influential former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, was confirmed on his Instagram page early Wednesday.

Talley was a highly influential fashion journalist who was a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe.

At 6-feet-6 inches tall, Talley cut an imposing figure wherever he went, in his signature sweeping capes or colorful caftans.

According to the Washington Post, after being hired by Editor in Chief Anna Wintour in 1983, Talley became the first Black man to be named creative director when he took over the role in 1988.

Talley was also a familiar face on TV when he appeared as a judge on "America's Next Top Model" and "Sex and the City," the Associated Press reported.

Tributes poured in on Wednesday from celebrities, including his friend Whoopi Goldberg, actor Kerry Washington, and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

"Unforgettable in every way," Goldberg said in a tweet.

"Heaven is going to be too fabulous now," Washington said in her tribute.

In a Vogue obituary, Wintour calls the loss of her friend and colleague "immeasurable."