André Leon Talley

Well known to readers of American Vogue, André Leon Talley is one of the most influential critics of the fashion world. His stature, his custom-made extravagant costumes and huge dark glasses made him a colorful character, without which the shows would not have the same flavor.

Born in 1949, André Leon Talley was raised by his grandmother. Although working all week as a housekeeper, it has managed throughout the childhood of small André Leon to offer him a warm home, where he keeps a happy memory. He grew up in an America where segregation was still raging. He had to silently endure many humiliations, but always with the awareness of its value and dignity.

It’s his French teacher who gave him a taste of literature, aesthetics and art, which will influence throughout his life… As a teenager, he was soon attracted by fashion. So one afternoon in June, he discovered an issue of Vogue in the small local press, and he became an avid reader.

When asked him later that he had acquired his unerring sense of style, include Vogue, but her grandmother took her to Mass on Sunday. During the service, he observed the women who had started on their thirty-one, and there understood what elegance. “You will see beautiful women, beautiful hats and matching gloves. They were people with very limited resources, but they had an extraordinary pace, especially on Sundays! ”

Despite his penchant for fashion, he began studying French. After his graduation, he moved to New York where he joined the elite avant-garde artists who had Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger. At that time, very few African Americans were allowed in this kind of environment, much less in fashion journalism.

His first job as a freelance fashion, he got 28 years in “Women’s Wear Daily”, not without cause concern of his colleagues who were not used to living on an equal footing a person of color . Despite the angry looks, André Leon Talley continued in this direction. Diana Vreeland, Vogue editor in chief of from 1962 to 1971, took a liking to Talley and made his protégé. In addition to the direction of Vogue, she had the charge collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Andre Leon Talley took it as his assistant.

Needle thread, Talley became someone popular with the middle. He later worked at the “Interview” and the “New York Times”, eventually joining Vogue in 1983, as editor of fashion news. Just five years later, he was promoted to artistic director and acquired, by this title, a formidable power in the world of fashion.

He took advantage of this position to showcase the work of African-American stylists, and asked the designers to embrace the melting pot by choosing more color models for their shows and advertising campaigns. It was a completely incoherent claw selling at international does not include in his show every type of nationality.

He left Vogue in 1995, debauched by W, and flew to France where he will be the director of the Paris offices of the magazine. In 1998, he returned to Vogue as a columnist. His paper, entitled “Stylefax” are expected and read avidly. Since chronic evolved: it seems that once a month and is called “Life with André”. In 2003, he left his memoirs, “ALT”, tracing its course.

All will agree to say that Andre Leon Talley is African-American leader of fashion, and that no one has yet equaled. André Leon Talley is fashionable what Tiger Woods is to golf: the unexpected excellence. In 2003, the “Council of Fashion Designers of America” ​​awarded him the Eugenia Sheppard award, to reward his fashion journalist working. Talley said, tongue-in-cheek, that this prize should have been awarded for many years.

For over 30 years, Talley has a place reserved in the forefront of all parades alongside Anna Wintour, from Paris to Milan via New York and London. He has worked and is still working with the actors the most prestigious fashion and Hollywood. His friend Karl Lagerfeld (he has known since 1975, when Andy Warhol presented them) drew her long coats, so its always more opulent corpulence retains a noble appearance. Talley describes her coats with derision that is dear to him: “As a tepee where we could accommodate a family of Lilliputians.”

André Leon Talley is both a superstar, a style icon, but also a little boy who never ceases to be amazed by the creativity of designers. He knew, despite his fame, keep a look devoid of prejudice which makes it a safe bet and respected in style and trends to follow.