You probably recognize André Leon Talley from all those America’s Next Top Model episodes you binge-watched while sitting on your couch listening to Tyra Banks religiously tell each contestant how to “smize” (aka. smile with your eyes). Talley was the judge who wore over-the-top outfits and made snarky comments that enabled you to go fetch your teapot and start brewing. He was also the former editor-at-large of Vogue Magazine and therefore friends with the ever-intimidating Anna Wintour. Most notably though, Talley has been a person throughout his life who has been able to stand in the face of conformity and laugh.
He’s a stylist and fashion icon who despite outside pressure and influence, has stayed true to himself. In his new documentary, ‘The Gospel According to André,’ you witness how a legend of the fashion world got his start, and he didn’t do it by coloring inside the lines. Let’s see how much the former Southern boy is worth today!
André Leon Talley Net Worth 2019: $5 Million
As of 2018, Talley has a net worth estimated to be around $5 million.
Talley was born in Durham, North Carolina on October 16, 1949. He was raised by his grandmother and mother during the pre-civil rights era where he attended all-black schools. In interviews, Talley mentions how his grandmother would never allow any white person to enter their house unless they were the coroner. Throughout his childhood, he was greatly influenced by his grandmother and credits her for his unique fashion sense. It was also during this time Talley opened his first Vogue magazine. He ventured into a library located in the white section of town and quickly became a dedicated reader.
Talley then attended Brown University after obtaining a scholarship. He originally had dreams to become a French teacher so he earned his M.A. in French studies in 1973. However, the images of the beautiful women dressed in elegant and eccentric clothing he saw between the pages of Vogue all those years before, never left his mind. The fashion industry beckoned Talley, and finally, he answered. He moved to New York City and became an assistant to Andy Warhol.
Talley got started in fashion journalism, and he was one of the few African Americans to do so. At 28, he became a reporter for Women’s Wear Daily where he encountered racism from a few of his white female colleagues. From there, he took on the role as protégé for Diana Vreeland, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue. He additionally worked for Interview, New York Times, and other publications before officially landing a full-time position at Vogue in 1983 as the fashion news director.
Five years later, he was promoted to creative director and with this position, he made it his mission to promote the talent of more African-American designers and models. In 1998, he moved up on the Vogue ladder and adopted the title of editor-at-large. He has since made appearances in the feature film Sex and the City along with the movie-documentaries, Valentino: The Last Emperor and The September Issue.
In 2008, Talley became the board trustee at the Savannah College of Art and Design and in 2014, held the Artistic Director position for Zappos Couture. He has published a number of books including, A.LT.: A Memoir, A.L.T 365+, and Little Black Dress. After stepping down as editor-at-large for Vogue, he took on the editor-in-chief position for an international magazine based in Russia, Numero Russia. At 68 years-old, Talley remains an active presence in the style industry and has earned the well-deserved title as being one of the most prominent African Americans among the fashion elite.
A new documentary, on former Vogue fashion editor and long-time White Plains resident Andre Leon Talley is finally out.