And at six feet six inches tall with countless iconic outfit moments over the years, Talley was a powerful and influential figure wherever he went, often side-by-side with Anna Wintour.
To pay tribute to Talley, we take a look back at his life, including his childhood, his rise to the top of the fashion industry's elite - the drama that came with that - and finally the legacy he leaves behind.
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Andre Leon Talley's childhood.
Talley was born in 1948 and raised by his grandmother Bennie in Durham, North Carolina.
"Bennie Frances Davis may have looked like a typical African American domestic worker to many of the people who saw her on an ordinary day, but I, who could see her soul, could also see her secret: that even while she wore a hairnet and work clothes to scrub toilets and floors, she wore an invisible diadem," he wrote in his 2003 memoir.
"My mother figure to this day is my grandmother. She gave me unconditional love and her home, her values, were my arc of safety," Talley told The Guardian in 2020.
Sadly throughout his childhood, Talley experienced bullying and sexual abuse. The first abuser was a man who lived on their street. Later, there were older brothers of friends.