André Leon Talley
(born October 16, 1949) is the editor-at-large
magazine and has been a front-row regular at fashion shows
in New York
for more than 25 years. He uses his influence to promote dozens of young fashion designers. He mentors young talent in other fields as well. His most famous pairings of late have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy
, and singer/actress Jennifer Hudson
. He is known as a very close friend of pop diva Mariah Carey
and Tennis star Venus Williams
. In 2007, he was ranked 45th in Out Magazine's
"50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America". He also worked with young fashion designers such as John Saldivar
Talley also has an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Savannah College of Art and Design, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Talley was raised in Durham
, North Carolina
by his grandmother Bennie Davis, who he says gave him an "understanding of luxury." After graduating from North Carolina Central University
, Talley received his master's degree in French from Brown University
. While at Brown, Talley befriended students from the nearby Rhode Island School of Design
and often went on weekend trips to New York City
. He is associated with former American Vogue
editor-in-chief and Costume Institute consultant, Diana Vreeland
In the mid 2000's, an intervention was initiated by Anna Wintour, to get Talley to lose weight. As seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he eventually lost a great deal of weight, and was eating healthier.
Talley wrote an autobiography entitled A.L.T.: A Memoir
, published in 2003.
He also authored A.L.T. 365+, an art monograph designed by art director Sam Shahid, published in 2005. 365 features photos and captions from one year in the life of André Leon Talley.
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