Black Hollywood and the fashion industry at large are taking to social media to mourn the loss of Vogue‘s former creative director and icon himself, André Leon Talley.
Talley’s impact in the fashion industry is truly unparalleled, as he managed to break boundaries in a glaringly white arena. Talley was creative director of Vogue magazine from 1987 to 1995, working alongside Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. He would go on to help dress First Lady Michelle Obama, mentor Naomi Campbell, and more.
When speaking of Talley while confirming his passing, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, said, “André Leon Talley was a singular force in an industry that he had to fight to be recognized in,” per The New York Times. Talley passed away at 73 years old “after a series of health struggles.”
Whoopi Goldberg, who was a good friend of Talley’s, took to Twitter with a tribute for the late fashion icon. She wrote, “…Just in time for the front line at fashion week in Heaven, Mrs Vreeland,Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld ..and now Andre Leon Talley. R.I.P. Unforgettable in every way…”
Goldberg appeared in The Gospel According to André, a documentary about Talley’s life. She shared in the documentary at the time, “He was so many things he wasn’t supposed to be and they couldn’t get around it.”
Kerry Washington also shared a tribute. She wrote under a picture of herself with Talley on Instagram, “Oh Andre! Heaven is not ready for you darling!!!!!! The whole afterlife is going to be just too fabulous now. Ugh! You blessed us! Sir! You blessed us with your charm and wit and your taste for the exceptional.”
She added, “You will shine so brightly from the heavens that we will know what true stardom looks like. And we will gaze up at you always. In awe. And with gratitude. Rest In Peace.”
Viola Davis also shared a photo of herself with the fashion icon, taking to Instagram with a tribute. She wrote, “RIP Andre Leon Talley. Rest well King ❤️.”
Niecy Nash called Talley “iconic” in her Instagram tribute to him, writing that he, “surely left an impression on anyone that crossed his path. His talent and contributions to the fashion industry will be cherished and remembered.”
Octavia Spencer tweeted out her tribute, writing, “I am sad to hear of Andre Leon Talley’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.” Roxane Gay also tweeted about Talley, referring to him as “a beacon of style for so many.”
Story & Photo Credit: Jared Alexander/thegrio