André Leon Talley, who became the first African American creative director of the magazine in 1988 has died. According to TMZ, he died at the age of 73 at White Plains Hospital from an unknown illness.
His death was confirmed by his friend Darren Walker, who is the President of the Ford Foundation.
While confirming his death, Walker said: “André Leon Talley was a singular force in an industry that he had to fight to be recognized in.
He described him as a “creative genius” and noted his ability to craft a persona for himself from “a deep academic understanding of fashion and design.”
Talley was appointed as the Creative Director by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Meanwhile, he dished about Wintour in a 2020 memoir called “The Chiffon Trenches.”
He was a former “America’s Next Top Model” judge, that was renowned for his attention-grabbing garb and trailblazing career that combined both the media and the fashion worlds.
He was raised in the South and eventually bagged a Master’s Degree from Brown University.
According to a New York Times post, he moved into a mansion in White Plains, one of New York City’s northern suburbs, in 2004.
The Post also revealed that Talley was embroiled in a legal tussle to prevent eviction from the mansion over a $500,000 accumulated rent owed on rent for the home. Talley said he owed no rent and that the mansion was his.
“I’ve experienced many peaks and valleys in my life and remain quite resilient,” Talley posted on Instagram amid a GoFundMe to support his legal fight. “The matter we are dealing with is unfortunate, but will be handled by my very capable legal team at this time.”