Anna Wintour Calls André Leon Talley's Death an 'Immeasurable' Loss

The longtime friends and collaborators worked together at 'Vogue' from 1983 to 2013.

Anna Wintour is remembering her longtime friend and collaborator, André Leon Talley. Talley died on Tuesday at the age of 73. He worked at Vogue from 1983 to 2013 in a variety of positions including creative director. 

"The loss of André is felt by so many of us today: the designers he enthusiastically cheered on every season, and who loved him for it; the generations he inspired to work in the industry, seeing a figure who broke boundaries while never forgetting where he started from; those who knew fashion, and Vogue, simply because of him; and, not forgetting, the multitude of colleagues over the years who were consistently buoyed by every new discovery of André’s, which he would discuss loudly, and volubly—no one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him," Vogue's global editorial director shared in a statement. "Even his stream of colorful faxes and emails were a highly anticipated event, something we all looked forward to." 

The 72-year-old British fashion icon continued with a more personal statement, adding, "Yet it’s the loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny — mercurial, too." 

Wintour also seemingly alluded to Talley's candid comments about her in his 2020 memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, saying, "Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years, and who we will all miss so much.”

In addition to working together at Vogue, the longtime friends and collaborators also appeared in the fashion documentaries The September Issue and The First Monday in May. 

Fashion designer Tom Ford also released a statement following Talley's death, noting that "it is hard for me to truly grasp the fact that André is no longer in the world."

"The last emails that we exchanged were a few weeks ago on New Year’s Eve. We wrote to each other often," Ford said. "Usually at least once a week, in fact only yesterday I wondered why I had not heard from him in a while."

Ford went on to share details of Talley's emails, which he said "were truly works of art."

"His giant persona sometimes overshadowed the fact that he was a brilliant journalist and an incredible writer. Often his emails were not even sentences but just a series of words. But they were the right words," he said. "Or they could be a stream of consciousness rant about something he loved or something he loathed as there was never an in-between."

"His letters were expressive, powerful, and large in every way," Ford continued. "The type blown up to a giant point size, and more recently punctuated with emojis, they could sometimes be several pages long if one were to print them. And print them I did, as they were often so truly brilliant that I wanted to have an actual paper copy of them."

Ford continued by detailing Talley's personality, noting that he "could be hysterically funny" and was both "absurd and really genius at the same time."

"Just when he would say something so completely shocking and worthy of Marie Antoinette he would then counter it with a statement so sharp and right on that it reminded you of just why he was able to have come so far in the world," Ford said. "As a designer I felt that I often wanted to show off for him. He could look at one of my collections and basically recite all of the things that would have been on my mood board that season. He saw things or rather he 'intuited' them like no other editor I have ever known. A rave from him meant so much to me."

Ford concluded by stating, "I adored him. And I will miss him."

Erik T. Kaiser/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

According to Vogue's site, Talley died of a heart attack, though this has not been publicly confirmed by a rep or coroner's office.

Talley spoke with ET about his memoir in 2020, saying at the time, "I've had a great life and I've met extraordinary people, and I just wanted to let people know that you can survive all formidable odds."