NEW YORK -
André Leon Talley, an imposing and very visible figure of the fashion world that made history as a rare black editor in a predominantly white industry, died.He was 73 years old.
The death of Talley, the influential creative director and editor of Vogue, occurred on Tuesday and was confirmed on his Instagram page on Wednesday.No details were provided about the cause of death, but it was known that he had had health problems in recent years.
Talley, who used to dress with surround layers and colorful caftan.With 1.98 meters (6 feet and 6 inches), it had an imposing and unforgettable figure;Once a Vogue employee called him "the pharaoh of fabulosity," the magazine wrote in his obituary.
But fashion connoisseurs celebrated him even more for his deep knowledge, forged over decades of devotion to the trade that began in his youth in the south of the country during the years of segregation, when he walked to the campus of the University ofDuke, where his grandmother worked by cleaning bedrooms, to read Vogue.
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In 2013 an article by Vanity Fair entitled "The Eyoful Tower" (a word game that in English sounds like the Eiffel Tower but which means the tower worth seeing), Talley was described as "perhaps the most important link in the industryWith the past ".The designer Tom Ford told the magazine that Talley was “one of the last great fashion editors who has an incredible sense of fashion history ... He can see in everything you do the original reference, predict what was in yourinspiration board ".
Talley was also known by the TV public as a judge of “America’s Top Model" and for his appearances in the series “Sex and The City" and “Empire".
Among the multiple celebrities who expressed his condolences on Wednesday was his friend Whoopi Goldberg, who said that his death occurred “just in time for the first row of fashion week in heaven".
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"Unforgettable in every way," Goldberg added on Twitter.
Another that honored his memory was actress Kerry Washington, who wrote on Instagram: “Oh André!The sky is not ready for you loved !!!!!!Life in the hereafter will be too fabulous now...You will shine so strong from the sky that we will know how a star really looks ".
Designer Diane von Furstenberg paid tribute to Instagram: “No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you...No one was bigger and moving than you ".
In his 2003 memoir, “a.L.T.: To Memoir, "Talley focused on two of the most important women in his life: his maternal grandmother Bennie Frances Davis, and the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland.
“Bennie Frances Davis could be seen as a typical Afro -American domestic worker for many people who saw her a normal day, but I, who could see her soul, could also see her secret: that even while using a network in the hair and work clothesTo clean toilets and floors, she wore an invisible tiara, "he wrote.
Talley, who was born in Washington and grew up in Durham, North Carolina, worked on various jobs before arriving in New York in the 1970s, where he soon met Vreelands and forged a friendship that lasted until her death in 1989.After working in the interview and Women’s Wear Daily, he was hired in 1983 by the editor in Chief of Vogue Anna Wintour and appointed creative director in 1988.
Towards the end of his life, he had a public fight with Wintour after publishing another memoir in 2020, "The Chiffon Tronches", which included stories behind wintour and other fashion figures such as the late designer Karl Lagerfeld.
"Many of us feel the loss of André today," Wintour said in Vogue's obituary.“The designers who enthusiastically encouraged every season, and who loved him for it;the generations to which he inspired to work in the industry, seeing a figure that broke borders never forgetting his origins;those who knew fashion, and vogue, simply for him..."
“Y sin embargo es la pérdida de André como mi colega y amigo en lo que pienso ahora", dijo Wintour, calificando la pérdida como “inconmensurable".
Talley spoke with The Associated Press in an interview in 2003 about having worked in the late 60s as a parks guard in Washington and Maryland, where he told visitors about slaves who built Fort Washington and dressed as a soldier of the civil war.
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In that interview, he said that, of all types of clothing, he considered the most important shoes.
“Puedes saber todo sobre una persona por lo que se pone en los pies", dijo Talley a AP.“If he is a man and you can see the reflection of his Rosto at the top of his black shoes, it means that they have been polished to perfection...If she is a woman and wears shoes that hurt... bueno, ¡los zapatos que lastiman están muy de moda!".
Pero al preguntarle cuál consideraba el artículo de lujo por excelencia, no eran los zapatos sino “una cama limpia y fabulosa con sábanas blancas de algodón egipcio".
Talley was open about his long battles against overweight. Al preguntarle si la comida y la moda combinaban, señaló que “la comida no es importante en el mundo de la moda, donde se supone que te tienes que ver como un espárrago".
“In my world it is a panqués of butter, fried chicken and potato salad, hot cookies... es difícil romper con eso por un sándwich de lechuga".