'A generous and loving friend to me': Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour, more mourn André Leon Talley

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Tributes poured from around the world for trailblazing fashion journalist André Leon Talley, the first Black creative director of Vogue magazine, who died Tuesday at age 73.

Talley's official Instagram account confirmed his death with a statement and tribute to the late fashion icon early Wednesday. "Mr. Talley was the larger-than-life, longtime creative director at Vogue during its rise to dominance as the world's fashion bible," the statement read.

Talley began at Vogue in 1983, and in 1988 was named the Condé Nast magazine's creative director, ultimately also serving as editor-at-large.

During his 40-year trailblazing career, Talley brought diversity to the highest tiers of the fashion industry, serving as a mentor to supermodels, namely Naomi Campbell and Black designers including LaQuan Smith. He later served as a judge for four seasons of "America's Next Top Model" and most recently, was the center of the 2017 documentary, "The Gospel According to André."

Many celebrities and members of the media paid their respects to Talley on social media following news of his death.

RIP André Leon Talley: Fashion industry icon and former creative director of Vogue, dead at 73

Campbell became the first Black model to front the cover of Vogue Magazine's September issue and credits her close relationship with Talley, who was Vogue's fashion news director at the time, for making the opportunity happen.

Thursday Campbell wrote a thoughtful and heartfelt tribute for her late friend on Instagram, describing their time together as an "everlasting family ship."

"Words cannot describe what it feels like knowing you are no longer with us in the physical form, like everyone who loves you my heart skipped a beat," she wrote, adding she called designer Diane von Fürstenberg right after hearing the news.

Naomi Campbell wrote a heartfelt tribute to her late friend Andre Leon Talley after his death.
Naomi Campbell wrote a heartfelt tribute to her late friend Andre Leon Talley after his death.

Campbell detailed many intimate moments she shared with Talley, including their travels to Brazil, Moscow, Paris and their recent 2019 trip to Lagos, Nigeria.

"Everyone said you would cancel on me last minute and I refused to believe .. and there you came to Lagos with a wheelchair and all, and you embraced everyone and everyone embraced you," she wrote. "Your unconditional love and support has never wavered … Andre is on his way to the otherside and will drape you all in divine larger than life luxury. I love you always."

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and longtime friend and colleague to Talley, remembered the fashion giant in the publication's obituary published Wednesday.

“The loss of Andre is felt by so many of us today," Wintour wrote. “Yet it’s the loss of Andre as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. 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."

Anna Wintour remembered her friend André Leon Talley on Jan. 19, calling the loss of Talley "immeasurable."
Anna Wintour remembered her friend André Leon Talley on Jan. 19, calling the loss of Talley "immeasurable."

Tyra Banks remembered Talley as "a prolific person" on Instagram.

"Being in his presence was so magical. He made me smile, laugh and was a masterful teacher - a generous, genius historian," Banks, who was the creator of "America's Next Top Model," wrote. "Scholar, colleague, effervescent spirit, legend…you are resting now, Dearest André. But your spirit, your ‘je ne sais quoi’, your VOICE - your laugh, your screams of effervescent, delightful joy…I hear it now. And will forever."

Supermodel coach and former "America's Next Top Model" judge Miss J Alexander remembered Talley on Instagram.

"You Introduced me to the world of Haute Couture with my very first fashion show Yves Saint Laurent Paris 1986. You gave me and many others a Life Time of Knowledge, Friendship, Stories and will never be forgotten R.I.P. King," Alexander wrote.

Former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth noted on Instagram Wednesday that Talley has been an inspiration throughout her own career.

"Whenever I questioned my path in those early days, I looked to his history and his presence to give me a sense of pride and permission to pursue my purpose in an industry so few of us were given space to succeed in," she wrote.

Welteroth continued: "While there is much to say about all he endured along his journey and the complicated story he leaves behind, let us lay him to rest draped in the dignity he is due for paving a path that made space for people like me and many others."

Fashion designer Rick Owens recalled the time Talley called him "out of the blue" in his tribute to Talley on Instagram.

"In 2000, André Leon Talley must have just looked up my listed number and calling me out of the blue on my land line in L.A.," Owens wrote. "(He) boomed over the phone 'Is this Rick Owens? This is André Leon Talley, I just saw your clothes in the window of Henri Bendel you must meet Anna.' That's how I got started."

"…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…," Whoopi Goldberg wrote on Twitter.

Viola Davis posted a photo next to Talley on Instagram, writing, "RIP Andre Leon Talley. Rest well King."

Belgian designer Fürstenberg bid "good-bye darling André " on Instagram. "No one saw the world in a more elegant and glamorous way than you did," von Fürstenberg wrote.

"No one was more soulful and grander than you were …the world will be less joyful now," she continued. "I have loved you and laughed with you for 45 years…. I will miss your loud screams and your loyal friendship."

Andy Cohen shared memories of Talley on his Tuesday night episode of "Watch What Happens Live."

"André was such an incredible life force," Cohen said. "We loved having him here, he had a booming voice he just gave so much energy and love to everyone around him at all times."

New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman bid farewell to the 6-foot-6 Talley, calling him "a towering figure, in every sense," on Twitter on Tuesday.

Holly Robinson Pete bid farewell to Talley on Facebook, referring to the journalist as "a Culture Shifter, a Giant."

Tracee Ellis Ross called Talley "grand and glamourous" on Instagram, adding: "A trailblazer. It was so exciting seeing you somewhere. I would run across a room to say hello. I am sad you are gone."

Actor Harvey Fierstein remembered Talley as "a truly original heart, spirit and mind."

"He cast a giant shadow and will not soon be forgotten. What (a) loss," Fierstein wrote.

Kerry Washington posted a photo of her and Talley hugging each other writing that "the whole afterlife is going to be just too fabulous now."

"You blessed us with your charm and wit and your taste for the exceptional. 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," she wrote.

Paris Hilton wrote: "You brought so much vibrancy and personality to the fashion world and there will never be someone like you."

Actress Milla Jovovich shared a picture of her and Talley.

"I feel so lucky to have been embraced in his warm glow so many times in my career, because good people are few and far between in this business and you’re much more likely to meet a scowl when going places than his ever present, all encompassing loveliness," she wrote on Instagram. "I send you so much love Andre."

Author Roxane Gay wrote that Talley was a "beacon of style for so many" and called news of his death "terrible."

More: André Leon Talley spills Vogue details, talks Anna Wintour in new memoir

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: André Leon Talley dies: Naomi Campbell, more mourn the Vogue legend

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