Anna Wintour has reflected on the legacy of her one-time right hand man and longtime friend, André Leon Talley, who died last night at a hospital in White Plains after suffering a heart attack aged 73. Talley had served intermittently as Vogue’s fashion news director, creative director, and editor at large, and was an instantly-recognizable representative of the magazine for many decades.
In Vogue.com’s official obituary penned by Nicole Phelps this morning, Wintour provided a statement about her former colleague. “The loss of Andre is felt by so many of us today: the designers he enthusiastically cheered on every season, and who loved him for it; the generations he inspired to work in the industry, seeing a figure who broke boundaries while never forgetting where he started from; those who knew fashion, and Vogue, simply because of him; and, not forgetting, the multitude of colleagues over the years who were consistently buoyed by every new discovery of Andre’s, which he would discuss loudly, and volubly—no one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him. Even his stream of colorful faxes and emails were a highly anticipated event, something we all looked forward to.”
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In her tribute to the larger than life figure, Wintour noted that while their relationship was sometimes “complicated,” that is not something she wishes to dwell on. While ALT was known for taking snipes at his former boss in interviews and in his numerous best-selling books, he appeared to let bygones be bygones in recent years and routinely praised Wintour on social media for adapting to industry change. Wintour concluded her note with kind words about the talented journalist, noting his humor and many gracious qualities.
“It’s the loss of Andre as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable,” she wrote. “He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny—mercurial, too. Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years, and who we will all miss so much.”
Read the full obituary here.