By Calynn M. Lawrence
André Leon Talley is a legacy at large in the fashion industry! He is the former American editor-at-large for Vogue magazine as well as front-row regular at Fashion Week across the globe for almost 3 decades.
He grew up in a southern home, raised by his grandmother whom he claims heavily influenced his interest in fashion. Because he grew up in The Jim Crow Era, segregation was something rudimentary in his childhood. He claims that discovering a Vogue magazine and later becoming a biweekly reader was one of his means of seeing the lives of those other than his own people.
As an adult, he began to take an interest in French Studies due to his long term Vogue readership. He received both his Bachelor’s of Arts and Masters of the Arts. His educational pursuits spiralled into a successful career in fashion. He got his start as an intern for Andy Warhol and Diana Vreeland. From there, he did work at Women’s Wear Daily and W. In addition to that, he worked for the New York Times prior to his big break at Vogue. He worked as the Fashion News Director, soon to be promoted as Creative Director and Editor at Large. His valiant efforts led to influencing top designers to have more models of color in their shows.
Some of his other accomplishments include being International Editor of Numero magazine, being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Savannah College of Art and Design for over two decades, being a motivational speaker across the globe reaching the hearts and changing the minds of many, as well as being an educator. It is no wonder he often known as one of few people you can compare to Anna Wintour’s caliber at Vogue magazine. They are often photographed together at events, at the offices or even in public.
Talley was also the one to advise the Obamas on fashion, and introduced Michelle Obama to celebrity fashion designer Jason Wu, who was the designer for many of her outfits and inaugural gown. His most famous pairings of late have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and Jennifer Hudson. He is known as a very close friend of pop diva Mariah Carey, fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons, and tennis star Venus Williams. He even became buddies with the great Tyra Banks after serving on the judge panel for America’s Next Top Model!
André Leon Talley was even honored to open a gallery in the SCAD Museum of Art. With all of these attainments, it is no wonder that he has an estimated net worth of 2 million dollars! A large portion of which, he reinvests into the fashion industry and the minority community. It’s hard to deny that he has made a huge imprint on the world.