Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black Beauty & Style: A History of Fashion : Andre' Leon Talley

André Leon Talley (born October 16, 1949) is the American editor-at-large for Vogue magazine and has been a front-row regular at fashion shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan for more than 25 years. He uses his influence to promote young fashion designers, such as John Saldivar and mentors young talent in other fields as well. His most famous pairings of late have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and singer/actress Jennifer Hudson. He is known as a very close friend of pop diva Mariah Carey, Kimora Lee Simmons, fashion designer and tennis star Venus Williams. In 2007, he was ranked 45th in Out Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”. Talley has an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Savannah College of Art and Design, where he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Talley was raised in Durham, North Carolina by his grandmother Bennie Davis, who he says gave him an “understanding of luxury.” After graduating from North Carolina Central University, Talley received his master’s degree in French from Brown University. While at Brown, Talley befriended students from the nearby Rhode Island School of Design and often went on weekend trips to New York City. He is associated with former American Vogue editor-in-chief and Costume Institute consultant, Diana Vreeland.

In 2008 Talley advised the future First Family on fashion, and introduced Michelle Obama to Jason Wu, from whom she bought several dresses including her inaugural gown.

As of November 2009, Talley will be serving on the judging panel for America’s Next Top Model, replacing Miss Jay (Runway Trainer).


KeyTX said...

loving these history posts....Andre is SUCH an icon!!!

Globetrotter22 said...

Andre (also known as Tangy Talley to some other blog sites) is great to me. He's not afraid to express himself, so many people see being gay and fashionable as being too over the top and too different, when the truth is, as long as different isn't killing anyone it's great to be different. I'm sure normal wasn't what they were going for when they offered him the editor-at-large position, at Vogue.