In a revealing interview with Tamron Hall, Andre Leon Talley dished on what editors at the top of the Vogue masthead once took home in their pay check. Talley, who served at the magazine from 1983-1995, alleged that some of his peers were making almost $1 million a year. By contrast, the 72-year-old said he “didn’t make much money” while adding that his salary was circa $300K.
“I just found out two weeks ago, from someone of authority, that women at Vogue, high, high rate fashion editors made close to a million dollars,” he told Hall. “I never made that much in a year. I made almost $300,000, but people on the same level, maybe they were doing more work than the fashion photoshoots, were making $900,000 a year. They don’t make that anymore, but this is the, this what comes when you live in America, when you’re a Black person, you have to wake up and you know there’s a double standard.”
For context, in 2019 a viral crowd-sourced spreadsheet titled ‘Real Media Salaries’ documented what hundreds of people in various editorial positions were being paid. The intel, which is still available online, didn’t reveal anyone on staff at Condé Nast to be making more than $120,000 a year at present—even after 10+ years of working their way up.
In his discussion with Hall, conversation also touched on Talley’s turbulent relationship with former boss Anna Wintour. While he might have fired shots at her in his book, The Chiffon Trenches, it seems that all is now forgiven. He also commended her progression when it comes to making Vogue more diverse and inclusive over the last few months.
“We are friendly, and we care about each other,” he clarified. “And in this friendship of over four decades—having this year of reflection in the pandemic being at home and reflecting on this book, and what it meant for the fashion world—I realized in thinking a lot about Anna Wintour. I think a lot about Anna Wintour. I even have dreams about Anna Wintour. Most weeks I have dreams, and they’re not nightmares.”
He added: “So in this complicated friendship, in this passive aggressive friendship, you know we sail by each other’s port of call, we sometimes miss each other’s port of call, but sometimes we navigate back around, and I’m looking forward to the day when Anna Wintour calls me and says, ‘Come to my house in Bellport for the weekend.’”
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And seeing as the interview took place on ‘the first Monday in May,’ it was only fitting that ALT would reflect on the Met Gala. Fans will note he swore in his book that he’ll never attend the industry’s biggest night ever again.
“I would absolutely, if [Wintour] sent me an invitation, I would go to the Met ball, I said in the book I would never go back. But if she sent me an invitation I would go.”
Your move, Anna!