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Anna Wintour on Death of Pioneering Vogue Editor Andre Leon Talley: His Loss Is “Immeasurable”


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Anna Wintour is remembering the influential and groundbreaking Vogue editor André Leon Talley just a day after his death at age 73 was confirmed.

As part of Vogue’s obituary for its former editor at large, Wintour released her first public statement on Talley’s death and trailblazing career. In it, she recalls his impact not just on the magazine where she’s served as editor in chief for more than 30 years, but also the countless designers and generations of fashion lovers with whom he worked with or inspired.

“The loss of André 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 André’s, which he would discuss loudly, and volubly — no one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him,” Wintour writes.

Within her lengthy statement, Wintour even touches upon one thing Talley was endearingly famous for — his persistent love and use of faxes. “Even his stream of colorful faxes and emails were a highly anticipated event, something we all looked forward to,” she recalls.

Wintour concludes on a more personal note, reflecting on her long relationship with the fashion journalist, stylist, creative director and former Vogue editor, one that was strained over Wintour’s red carpet host selection for the 2018 Met Gala.

“Yet it’s the loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. 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.”

Talley’s career spanned six decades, during which he covered fashion for publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, W and The New York Times. However, his extended run with American Vogue is what he is most associated with, serving in various roles for the magazine and working closely with Wintour. He became famous not only for his avid championing of designers through the years, but also for breaking ground as one of the industry’s rare Black fashion editors, spending his years promoting more diversity within the industry — on and off the runway.

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