Black [Fashion] History: Vogue Editor Andre Leon Talley
Front-row regular at fashion shows around the world. Here pictured with Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour
Pictured with long-term friend with Kimora Lee Simmons
Current judge on America's Next Top Model, alongside long-term friend Tyra Banks
Pictured here with Karl Lagerfeld (Creative Director of Chanel), Venus Williams, and Kimora Lee Simmons
Having fun with an old friend, singer/icon Grace Jones
(1949-Present) A little known fact about Andre Leon Talley is that he was born and raised in Durham, NC (from which I hail), and that he graduated from NC Central University. He received his Master's in French from Brown University, and while doing so, he often took weekend trips to New York City and associated with former Vogue Editor-in-Chief Diana Vreeland. His first job was as an assistant for Andy Warhol, which I am sure was a fantastic experience!
In 2008, Talley advised the future First lady on fashion, and introduced Michelle Obama to Jason Wu. Wu, as we know, went on to design Mrs. Obama's Inauguration Ball gown, pictured here. The power of networking!
His more recent pairings have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and Jennifer Hudson. He was ranked 45th in Out Magazine's Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently serving as a judge on America's Next Top Model.
Mr. Talley is one of the few major African-American voices in the fashion industry, and a fabulous representation of Durham! I look forward to meeting him one day!