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André Leon Talley: Learn about his trailblazing life in his memoir

From childhood to his career at ‘Vogue’, learn about the legendary figure in his book ‘The Chiffon Trenches’

Eva Waite-Taylor
Wednesday 19 January 2022 11:20
<p>His knowledge and influence cemented him as a formidable face in fashion </p>

His knowledge and influence cemented him as a formidable face in fashion

André Leon Talley – the former Vogue editor and a vivacious, influential figure in the fashion industry – has passed away in New York at the age of 73.

The news was announced by Talley’s literary agent in a statement. “Mr Talley was the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world’s fashion bible,” it said.

In a career that spanned five decades, Talley was determined to get to the top echelons of the fashion world – embarking on his first magazine job as an assistant to Andy Warhol at Interview before making it as the first black creative director of Vogue, with Edward Enninful today crediting him for paving a way for greater diversity within the industry.

The loss of such an inspirational and pioneering man has shaken the fashion world to its core, with many close friends paying tribute. During his life, Talley called the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Manolo Blahnik close confidantes and pioneered under-the-radar designers, with no one shaping 20th-century fashion quite as he did.

Talley truly was a force to be reckoned with and a legendary trailblazer, so if you are interested in learning about his life, from his childhood to his days at Vogue, his memoir is the place to start.

Read more:

‘The Chiffon Trenches’ by André Leon Talley, published by Fourth Estate

Through beautiful prose, Talley exposes the cut-throat nature of the fashion industry in his memoir The Chiffon Trenches.

The pages track his childhood – a period where the library became his “favourite retreat” where his “world became the glossy pages of Vogue” – to his first days at Interview before examining his rise to the top of Vogue’s masthead.

He credits his “great depth of knowledge” for carrying him throughout his career. While the book certainly highlights his mastery of fashion, it also reveals so much more.

It exposes the egos, racism, rumours and challenges he and others faced, but also shines a light on the figures that influenced him.

The book takes you along on his exceptional journey, charting the career of one of the most recognisable names in the fashion world. It’s an undeniably insightful read.

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