Fashion icon and Vogue magazine's first African-American creative director André Leon Talley has died at the age of 73.
The news of his passing was announced on Tuesday, January 18 by Talley's literary agent David Vigliano.
Talley's death was also confirmed by his friend Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation.
“André Leon Talley was a singular force in an industry that he had to fight to be recognized in,” Walker said, calling him a “creative genius” and noting his ability to craft a persona for himself out of “a deep academic understanding of fashion and design.”
The former editor-at-large of Vogue died at a hospital in White Plains, New York
Growing up in Durham, North Carolina, he found his love for fashion and Vogue as a child looking through magazines in the library. After college, he worked at Andy Warhol’s “Factory” studio before ultimately landing a job at Vogue, beginning as a fashion news director.
Talley eventually was promoted to creative director and advocated for more Black models on the runaway.
He later moved to Paris to work at W in 1995 but then return to Vogue in 1998 as the editor-at-large until 2013.
He worked closely with editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, detailing the racism and humiliation he faced from her in his memoir, The Chiffon Trenches.
Talley, who was openly gay, lived alone and had a little semblance of a romantic life, had no immediate survivors.