Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sad News from the Fashion World: Flamboyant Icon Andre Leon Talley Dies at 73


Andre Leon Talley, the flamboyant fashion icon, has reportedly died at age 73.

Talley was a gentle giant know for wearing caftans and guiding the fashion sense at Conde Nast Publications for more than 30 years. When he was summarily dumped by Anna Wintour, he sought his revenge by writing a witty erudite book about life at Vogue, among other things. He rose above his abrupt dismissal and became even more famous.

TMZ is also reporting that Andre died at White Plains Hospital. There’s no cause of death but I see that ALT hasn’t been on social media for a year.

I first met Andre with Paloma Picasso in the mid 80s. When I first saw him, I have to say, I was dazed. Who was this person? Decked out to the nines and then some, Andre acted like a Royal Prince from some amazing country– maybe Wakanda, but we didn’t know about that in 1986. Paloma, whose book I was promoting, introduced me. She was a little bit in awe of him, too, but he treated her with utter deference.

For years after that I saw him on the circuit, we’d wave or talk, nothing deep. He was first at Vanity Fair, I think, but morphed over to Vogue in time. I used to think, How can he stand her? And in time, we learned that he couldn’t. Anna, who got rid of Grace Coddington after “The September Issue” movie made Grace a star, was lining up Andre next for execution.

God bless him, he didn’t take it lying down. He went on a rampage, wrote a book, starred in a documentary. Of late he was involved in a massive and taxing eviction proceeding in Westchester. Right before the pandemic started in February 2020 Andre was at an event, he was on a panel, we had a long talk. He remembered that day with Paloma and we laughed about all the people we knew including Anna.

What a shame he didn’t get a chance to go on. He was one of a kind. His memory will outlast his enemies’.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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