André Leon Talley
André Leon Talley (born on October 16, 1949 in Washington, D.C.) is a fashion journalist, former editor-at-large of Vogue US, currently holding a position of the editor-in-chief at the Russian edition of Numéro.
His parents (Alma Ruth Davis and William C. Talley) left him with his grandmother, Binnie Francis Davis, who was a cleaning lady at one of the universities in North Carolina.
The wealth of the family did not allow André to dress as he would like, though his grandmother still was able to give him an ‘understanding of luxury’. Talley admired his grandmother’s “neat, elegant, albeit modest outfits”. For one of his birthdays, she presented him a fake Christian Dior pyjama. Until now, André still keeps it and considers as the most valuable gift ever given to him. From early childhood he was fascinated by fashion and did not miss a single issue of Vogue magazine, as well as hung portraits of Diana Vreeland on the walls of his room.
In 1966, after graduating from school, André Leon Talley enters the North Carolina Central University.
In 1970, he moves to Providence to get to Brown University, part of the Ivy League, after graduating of which in 1974 receives a master’s degree in French literature and relocates to New York.
In 1975, André becomes an assistant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he meets Diana Vreeland. Subsequently, she becomes his mentor and a good friend.
The same year, Diana Vreeland introduces André Leon Talley for position of a secretary at Andy Warhol’s Interveiw magazine, with the salary of $50/week.
After some time, Andy Warhol offers André Leon Talley to try writing articles for the same magazine. André makes acquaintances with Karl Lagerfeld, Jacqueline Kennedy and her younger sister Caroline Lee Radziwill.
In 1977, André works as a reporter for Women’s Wear Daily, writing various fashion related articles.
In 1982, becomes the fashion editor at Ebony magazine.
During 1983-1988, holds a position of the director of fashion news department at Vogue.
In 1988-1995, steps up and holds the position of the art director at Vogue.
In 1994, starts writing his book called “A.L.T.: A Memoir”.
In 1995 moves to Paris, becoming a fashion editor at W magazine.
André decides to return to New York three years later, in 1998, and continues his collaboration with Vogue, getting his own column called ‘Life With Andre’, where he shares his thoughts on world fashion, society, modern trends, designers and takes interviews from celebrities.
In 2003, gets his “A.L.T.: A Memoir” book finished and published.
In 2005 publishes a second book under the name “A.L.T. 365+” describing 365 days of his life in it.
André Leon Talley stayed with Vogue as the editor-at-large until his departure in 2013 to pursue another editorial venture — the Russian edition of Numéro magazine.
André Leon Talley died on the 19th of January of 2022 at the age of 73 of a heart attack after COVID complications.