Vanity Fair On The Man Behind The Myth: André Leon Talley

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andre-leon-talley-eccentric-style.sw.23.andre-leon-talley-fashion-evolution-ss171Photo: Courtesy of Vanity Fair.
Whoever says that working in fashion is all about runway shows, glitzy parties, and proudly proclaiming that this season's color is "blood orange" is wrong. It is so much more than that, and André Leon Talley will be the first to let you know. For Vanity Fair's September Issue, Vanessa Grigoriadis profiles the legend who is supposedly "the only man who could see Anna [Wintour] in her underwear." For over 25 years, Talley has been one of the key tastemakers, helping other editors and fashion insiders decide and project the future of style. It's a dream job — one that Miranda Priestly would surely say, "a job that a million girls would kill for," though getting there has not been easy.

ALT's position in the industry is unique. He's the most prominent person of color who's never become an editor-in-chief: "What person of color do you know who’s in a position like that, be it a man or a woman, unless it’s Essence magazine?” he asks. Beefing up a resume as bulky as his (he's also the editor at large of Numéro Russia) obviously takes time, and often there aren't enough hours in a day for any other affair but fashion. "I can create this magic, so why don’t I have a lover?" ALT asks, seemingly without regret. Fashion, it seems, has been his lover for the past quarter of a century. Which we honestly can't argue with. Boyfriends come and go, but Vogue is always there when you call. (WWD)