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Anna Wintour Allegedly Cut Off André Leon Talley For Being ‘Too Old, Too Overweight & Too Uncool’

Photo: Everett Collection / lev radin / Shutterstock
Andre Leon Talley, Anna Wintour

Influential fashion journalist and former editor-in-large of Vogue, André Leon Talley, has passed away at the age of 73.

It was was first reported by TMZ, and later confirmed by Vogue that the fashion trailblazer had passed from a heart attack at a New York hospital on Tuesday.

During his time at Vogue, Talley worked under Anna Wintour, who serves as the editor-in-chief of the magazine.

The two were considered close friends for quite some time, but now Wintour is facing heavy criticism for the way she treated Talley, who wrote about Wintour in his 2020 memoir, 'The Chiffon Trenches.'

Why did André Leon Talley and Anna Wintour fallout?

Talley has been critical of how Wintour treated him during his time at Vogue and it appears this is largely the reason behind their feud.

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“I have huge emotional and psychological scars from my relationship with this towering and influential woman. Simple human kindness. No, she is not capable," Talley wrote in his book.

Talley also revealed that Wintour had severed ties with him three years before his death for being, "too old, too overweight, and too uncool."

Talley was clearly hurt by Wintour's comments made agaisnt him and the mistreatment he was subjected to, especially from how quickly she dismissed him after years of him working for Vogue.

In an interview with Vulture in May 2020, despite how he wrote of his and Wintour's crumbling relationship in his book, he expressed how he would still answer if Wintour called him.

“We never really spoke about our friendship or worked to develop some long-lasting bond,” Talley said, still struggling to come to terms with the fallout between him and Wintour. “It was just perfectly understood between us, like a silent language.”

Talley also acknowledged that Wintour had made him “the highest-ranking black man in the history of fashion journalism” after meeting at Vogue in the 1980s, but how most of his experiences seemed to erase that fact.

"I bottled up how hurt I was, as always, but our friendship had just hit a huge iceberg," Talley recalled.

Anna Wintour was allegedly very controlling over André Leon Talley's career.

The former Vogue editor recalled a time when the magazine had started a podcast in 2016, with Wintour announcing Talley as the host.

Guests on the podcast consisted of Kim Kardashian, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang, with Wintour directing and approving how the podcast was supposed to go.

The interviews that Talley wanted to conduct, which included people like Missy Elliott or Maya Rudolph, were somehow never approved by Wintour, and according to Talley, she would only come down if she found his guest interesting enough.

Then suddenly, the podcast didn't exist anymore.

"No explanation or compensation. Just sphinx-like silence from Anna. She decimated me with this silent treatment so many times; it is just the way she resolves any issue," Talley wrote.

André Leon Talley claims he was paid much less than his fellow Vogue editors.

Talley opened up during an interview on "The Tamron Hall Show" about the huge pay gap between him and other Vogue editors.

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He revealed that he had found out from "someone of authority" that the women fashion editors who worked with him at Vogue were making almost $1 million while his own salary had been $300,000.

“They don’t make that anymore, but this is what comes when you live in America when you’re a Black person, you have to wake up and you know there’s a double standard,” Talley said.

The pay disparity between Talley and the other Vogue editors is most likely another factor that contributed to his strained relationship with Wintour.

Despite writing about how taxing the friendship had been on him, Talley expressed that he still has love for Wintour.

"My hope is that she will find a way to apologise before I die, or that if I linger on incapacitated before I pass," Talley wrote in his memoir.

"She will show up at my bedside, with a hand clasped into mine, and say, 'I love you. You have no idea how much you have meant to me.'"

Anna Wintour shared a tribute to Andre Leon Talley after his death.

While it is not known if the reconciliation Talley hoped for ever occured, the Vogue editor-in-chief did have some kind words to share after her former colleague's passing.

"The loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable," she wrote in Vogue, "He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny—mercurial, too."

"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.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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