Everyone (including my Dad who knows nothing about fashion) seems to know Andre Leon Talley because he’s everywhere these days. He’s on TV with Tyra Banks judging America’s Next Top Model, in Vogue magazine writing his monthly column and now he’s starring with Banks again for a set of informational fashion videos for her new website TypeF.com. But it wasn’t always this way.
Talley was born in 1949 in North Carolina. Raised in a segregated and closed minded town, he sought comfort in his grandmother and the copies of Vogue that he found on the White side of town’s library. Inspired by his high school French teacher, Talley earned an MA in French studies at Brown University where he hung out with the fashion students from the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design. Afterwards, he moved to New York City where he embarked on a career in fashion that would have him partying with Karl Lagerfeld and Andy Warhol, working for WWD, and assisting Diana Vreeland at Vogue.
Talley’s popularity and high rank in the fashion world allows him to mentor Black talent – fashion designers, celebrities, and models like Tyra Banks. In their Fa-Fa-Fashion videos they teach young women about different key fashion staples and how to wear them – the first video is about the trench coat while the second features the little black dress. These videos are exposing Talley to an even wider audience. Who (and Where) will we see him next?
Photo from here.