Andre Leon Talley, Vogue’s Editor-At-Large, is often called “Andre the Giant – although it’s tough to say whether it’s because of his brooding size or his all-powerful position in the world of fashion.
Talley grew up in Durham, North Carolina and was raised by his grandmother. While volunteering at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art he met Diana Vreeland (known for her 25 years at Harper’s Bazaar and her years at Vogue as Editor-in-Chief), who quickly took Talley under her wing and became his mentor.
Although he is often viewed as Anna Wintour’s counterpart, they are very rarely photographed together and there is no denying Talley is far more vocal that the more tight-lipped Wintour. The 56-year-old Talley, who has in recent years lost a great deal of weight (although he is not so exactly svelte), was being interviewed by Oprah and revealed, “Most of the Vogue girls are so thin, tremendously thin, because Miss Anna don’t like fat people.” He has also publicly condemned friends like Mariah Carey and Naomi Campbell for their Blackberry addictions.
While Talley jet sets with his celebrity friends and travels around the world critiquing the latest fashion collections he is quite the author as well. Aside from penning his monthly front-of-the-book column for Vogue he has also written several books including his autobiography.