Black Fashion History: Andre Leon Talley

Words by Tasha Mercer, #styleSPLOITATION Contributor

Andre Fur

When we hear the word grandiose, André Leon Talley comes to mind. It’s all about his confident, six-foot stature, and influential trendsetting wardrobe. André Leon Talley was born October 16, 1949 in Washington D.C where he was raised by his grandmother who partially gave life to his sense of style at an early age. Not only is André Leon Talley known for setting trends, he is also known for being the editor-at-large and contributor of Vogue Magazine. Talley has held many different jobs as a freelance fashion journalist and was also the editor of W magazine Paris, later becoming Paris bureau chief. Talley has also been featured in different films such as Sex and the City, the mega-hit show Empire and America’s Next Top Model. André Leon Talley published a memoir called A.L.T in 2003 which received great reviews. After publishing his book, Talley followed with A.L.T. 365+, a well-constructed book capturing a year of his life with images taken from a disposable camera.

Andre and Naomi

André Leon Talley is known to be a regular at the fashion shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan for over 25 years. He has advocated for more women of color to be featured in the fashion shows. Talley also been recognized for his work in 2003 receiving the Eugenia Sheppard Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003 for fashion journalism. Within the last year, Talley continues to reach new heights writing a book featuring his longtime friend Oscar De La Renta which is called: Oscar De La Renta: Legendary World of Style. He has also curated a major Vivienne Westwood Exhibit at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) entitled, Dress Up Story-1990 Until Now which composes 25 designs by the designer. Talley was most recently named Creative Director for Numéro Russia, but has left due to creative differences ALT is a black trailblazer of fashion. Salute.

Andre and Oscar