André Leon Talley, the towering former creative director and editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, has died. He was 73, reports the AP. Talley’s literary agent David Vigliano confirmed Talley’s death to USA Today late Tuesday, but no additional details were immediately available. Talley was an influential fashion journalist who worked at Women's Wear Daily and Vogue and was a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe. At 6-feet-6 inches tall, Talley cut an imposing figure wherever he went, with his stature, his considerable influence on the fashion world, and his bold looks.
In a 2013 Vanity Fair spread titled "The Eyeful Tower," Talley was described as "perhaps the industry’s most important link to the past." Designer Tom Ford told the magazine Talley was "one of the last great fashion editors who has an incredible sense of fashion history. … He can see through everything you do to the original reference, predict what was on your inspiration board." Designer Diane von Furstenberg praised Talley on Instagram, writing: "no one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you did … no one was grander and more soulful than you were."
In his 2003 memoir, A.L.T.: A Memoir, Talley focused on two of the most important women in his life: his maternal grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis and the late fashion editor Diana Vreeland. His relationship with Vogue started at Duke University, where his grandmother cleaned dorms; Talley would walk to campus in his youth to read the magazine. Raised in Durham, North Carolina, Talley worked assorted jobs before arriving in New York in the 1970s, soon meeting Vreeland and striking up a friendship that lasted until her death in 1989. Talley was hired at Vogue in 1983 by Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and was appointed its creative director in 1988.
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