Beloved fashion icon André Leon Talley, born on 16 October 1948 in Washington D.C., passed away on January 18.
Talley made history for being the first-ever African-American male creative director for Vogue after joining the renowned team in 1983.
The trailblazer was also known for his rocky relationship with the editor-in-chief of the magazine and his longtime friend, Dame Anna Wintour.
Into André Leon Talley’s Friendship With Anna Wintour
Talley gave up the ghost on Tuesday, January 18. following his battle with an unconfirmed illness, and PEOPLE Magazine dived into his decades-long friendship with Wintour.
The late 73-year-old told the outlet that he and the editor-in-chief did not have to speak, not only because she does not say many words but due to his ability to know her thoughts.
In Talley’s memoir “The Chiffon Trenches,” he spared no words about his relationship with Wintour. After becoming a member of Vogue in 1983, he swiftly became the creative director.
Wintour took the fashion guru as her right hand, as observed in several Vogue documentaries. He also recounted meeting Wintour and politely saying hello.
Upon getting home at 14th St. after a subway ride from the office at 44th street, Talley found under his door a note from the “Ocean’s 8” actress welcoming him to Vogue.
The American stylist looked back at the camaraderie he felt for his co-worker. He recounted that they made waves together, and she was his biggest supporter.
The African-American praised Wintour for being inspiring. He also found everything about his days at work to be nothing short of amazing.
Things turned sour for the close friends when Talley expected to host the red carpet interviews at the 2018 Met Gala, but his position was instead given to a YouTube personality.
The “A.L.T 365+” Author Called 2020 Tell-All A Love Letter
While on “CBS This Morning,” Talley told Gayle King that his memoir was a love letter to Wintour even though their friendship had hit an iceberg.
The author said his memoir encapsulates the joys and lows of his life with the Vogue global editorial director, adding that his book helps peel the onion about her.
The memoirist said he loves Wintour and his publication is not a “vengeful, bitchy tell-all” but a love letter and a “black man’s experience in a very insulated world.” He added:
“I owe to her the pioneering role that I had of a creative director of Vogue. I was the first Black man to ever be named such. I owe that to Anna Wintour. I owe her much. And I think, in turn, I think she owes me.”
A source close to Wintour told the outlet that she considered Talley a friend for over three decades and was saddened by how he portrayed aspects of their friendship.
Nevertheless, the insider noted that the “Oscar de la Renta” author believes her old friend is entitled to tell his story as he remembers it, and she wishes him the best.
“The Chiffon Trenches” Author Criticizes Vogue Editor-in-Chief In Memoir
Talley’s 2020 memoir seemed to drag his longtime friend and co-worker through the mud with a few of its revelations.
The Blast shared jaw-dropping details from the book where the late creative director accused Wintour of being incapable of simple human kindness.
It gets worse. Talley wrote that “The September Issue” star is “immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the pages of Vogue.”
In this so-called love letter, the “A.L.T 365+” author recalled hosting a hugely successful Vogue podcast but getting only $500 per episode before it was abruptly canceled.
While preparing to host the 2018 Met Gala red carpet interviews, Talley claimed nobody informed him about the gig until he called the office.
The office told the journalist the job, which he had done for years, was beneath him, and he took that as a sign of being pushed out.
Talley said the incident was a stone-cold business decision because he has “suddenly become too old, too overweight, too uncool” for Wintour, who he wished called or emailed him about the debacle beforehand.
The “A.L.T.: A Memoir” writer said his estranged friend mercilessly made her best friends people in their highest chosen fields, such as Serena Williams, while he was of no value to her.
Talley wished Wintour would have said something human and sincere to him. He expressed:
“I have huge emotional and psychological scars from my relationship with this towering and influential woman. I wonder, when she goes home alone at night, is she miserable? Does she feel alone?”