Who Is Andre Leone Talley & What Caused His Death

by Abigail Oluwakemi
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André Leon Talley has passed away. The New York Times has reported that the fashion legend has died from complications of a heart attack and COVID-19 at a hospital in White Plains, NY, on January 18, 2022, at the age of 73.

Talley rose to prominence as creative director of Vogue and Anna Wintour’s right-hand. The famed fashion journalist was influential to Vogue’s vision and direction in the 1980s and ’90s, when he worked his way up the magazine ranks to eventually become the news director. He helmed the news director position from 1983 1987 and then rose to Vogue’s creative director in 1988. He was an unpaid apprentice for Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1974 through student connections he made in Providence, Rhode Island.

Due to his skills, the then Vogue editor connected Talley up with a job at Andy Warhol’s Factory and Interview magazine and he went on to work at Women’s Wear Daily, becoming its Paris bureau chief, according to The Gospel According to André.

In 2008, Talley advised the Obama family on fashion, introducing Michelle Obama to the Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu, from whom she bought several dresses, including her inaugural gown.

Talley’s later pairings have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and singer-actress Jennifer Hudson. He also styled Melania Trump for her 2005 wedding to Donald Trump. From March 2010 to December 2011, Talley served on the judging panel for America’s Next Top Model. From 2013 to 2014, he served as international editor of Numéro Russia, joining the team shortly after the magazine launched in March 2013 but resigned after 12 issues due to anti-LGBT laws in Russia.

Talley is the subject of a documentary film, The Gospel According to André, directed by Kate Novack, which was screened in September 2016 at the Toronto Film Festival and was released in the U.S. on May 25, 2018. Reviewing the film, Variety said: “The documentary is a deeply loving, frequently beautiful testament to the former Vogue editor, who rose from humble beginnings in North Carolina to become arguably the high fashion world’s first major African-American tastemaker, as well as the type of multi-lingual, Russian-lit-citing public intellectual who is perfectly at ease gossiping on TV with Wendy Williams.”

Talley is just the first black fashion icon the world has lost yet in 2022. Virgil Abloh shocked the world last
November when he lost a long battle with cancer.

There is no official information concerning his cause of death. Doctors or family have not given any candid information regarding the demise of Talley.

But according to his longtime friend Dr Yvonne Cormier, he passed away owing to COVID-19 related complications. According to Dr Cormier, an anesthesiologist, the deceased had underlying health problems due to his weight.

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