When I worked as a publicist, one of my assignments was to phone then Fashion Editor of VOGUE - Andre Leon Talley and pitch our client for a feature in the prominent fashion periodical. To my surprise, Andre answered and I could tell right away from his tone that he had no time for foolishness. I was so intimated by his booming voice that I couldn't quite communicate my pitch properly and to his credit - allowed me to phone back at a later date when I had a little more composure. I did and my clients were eventually featured in a VOGUE fashion spread. I got just a taste of the Andre Leon Talley that has globally taken the fashion industry by storm.
Andre Leon Talley is the first and I do believe only person of color to work at VOGUE in his capacity. A large man in stature and personality looming from the South, made his way into fashion with the likes of Andy Warhol, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and her predecessor Diana Vreeland becoming one of the most respected voices in the fashion industry. His knowledge of how history, fabrics and lines intersect to create the perfect garment is impeccable, as is, his command of the French language.
Raised by his Grandmother in the Jim Crow south, Talley managed to leave and go up north graduating from Brown University with a complete, unwavering sense of who he is and how he needed to navigate through the shark invested waters of fashion to survive as a Black Man. On the flip side, there are moments where this gentle giant is seen nearly in tears recalling how he was often accused of sleeping his way through the industry and enduring such hateful monikers as "Queen Kong."
The Gospel According to Andre will serve as the best dish of caviar money can buy to those obsessed with fashion. I, for one, was honored and gleefully proud that Andre Leon Talley opened a door to fashion that will forever be changed by his existence.
After having a successful run at the Tribeca Film Festival and produced by Magnolia Picture, The Gospel According to Andre opens in theaters on May 25th.