André Leon Talley Drags Anna Wintour

Discussion in 'In the News...' started by Gabriel29, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Gabriel29

    Gabriel29 Well-Known Member

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    Source: Daniel Bates on Daily Mail

    EXCLUSIVE: 'She's not capable of simple human kindness.' Ex Vogue editor André Leon Talley rips into Anna Wintour, revealing how their decades-long friendship ended because he was 'too old, overweight and uncool'

    The former editor-at-large of Vogue paints a scathing portrait of his once close friend and boss Anna Wintour, saying she is 'not capable of human kindness', in his upcoming memoir obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.

    André Leon Talley says he has 'huge emotional and psychological scars' from his decades long friendship with the magazine's notoriously icy editor.

    The 70-year-old describes being frozen out by Wintour last year because he was 'too old, too overweight, too uncool' for her, he writes in his new memoir The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, which is out in September.

    Talley claims there is an 'endless' list of writers, stylists and models who she has cast onto a 'frayed and tattered heap during her powerful rule'.

    In a scorching passage Talley, 70, writes: 'She is immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the pages of Vogue.

    'She has mercilessly made her best friends people who are the highest in their chosen fields.

    'Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney are, to her, friends. I am no longer of value to her'.

    Talley's dismissal from the court of the woman known as 'Nuclear Wintour' is all the more bitter because they were so close - and she made his career.

    When they were at their closest he was one of the few dozen people invited to her wedding and she staged an intervention because his weight got out of control.

    Talley writes that when he started out in fashion journalism and Wintour was creative director at Vogue she became a 'powerful ally' of his.

    That was in 1983 when Talley got to work at the magazine at his second attempt after Grace Mirabella, the editor-in-chief at the time, made him fashion news editor.

    Talley writes that on the way out he ran into Wintour and she smiled at him.

    By the time he got home she had sent a note to his apartment saying: 'Welcome to Vogue. I look forward to working with you'.

    Talley admits to being 'terribly terrified' of Wintour, not least because he ran into her at the same parties all the time.

    Andy Warhol, a friend of Talley's from his days at Interview magazine, knew he was intimidated by her and he would poke him in the ribs and say: 'Oh Andre, go and say hello to Anna Wintour!'

    When Wintour left the U.S to become editor of British Vogue, Talley became style editor of Vanity Fair under Tina Brown.

    Wintour hired him back when she returned to America as editor of Home & Garden magazine and brought him with her to Vogue when she became its editor in 1988.

    Talley disputes some of the things that featured in The Devil Wears Prada, the 2006 film ostensibly about Wintour that starred Meryl Streep.

    He says that in reality nobody threw their coats around and there was 'no vulgar language' - and you certainly didn't walk around drunk.

    But there were expense accounts for everything and every single thing Wintour wore was sent to the dry cleaners, apart from her underwear.

    Her kitchen was spotless - because she never cooked.

    One of her two assistants did have to go to her home every morning with a copy of the big book, a mockup of the current issue of Vogue, with flowers, gifts and all her clean clothes.

    Talley made up with Wintour when her own mother died and he flew to the UK to be at the funeral where she broke down in tears during the eulogy.

    Talley got up and 'cradled her in my arms' as they walked out - it was the only time he physically held her.

    Talley returned to Vogue as editor-at-large where his weight carried on ballooning and one day Wintour called him and said: 'You've got to go to the gym'.

    He got a personal trainer and tried the cabbage diet - where you just eat cooked cabbage -but it didn't work.

    So Wintour staged an intervention with Talley's pastor and designer Oscar de la Renta and his wife, who were two of Talley's closest friends.


    Wintour explained that Talley's weight was 'out of control' and he was sent for rehab at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

    Talley lost 55lbs but he put it back on and he returned to the center three times for a 'yo-yo battle I long ago realized I will never win'.

    In 2016 Vogue started a podcast and Wintour announced that Talley was the host. It began as a huge success with guests like Tom Ford, Kim Kardashian, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang.

    But it was around this time things began to go sour for Talley's friendship with Wintour.

    He gripes about being paid just $500 for each episode of the podcast, a sum which he calls 'peanuts'.

    My car service bills cost that much and more for a round-trip from White Plains to One World Trade Center', where the Vogue office is based,' he writes.


    One day she treats me like a good friend and a colleague, and the next day, she treats me as if she had just handed over her keys to an unknown parking valet.

    In an extended rant, Talley writes: 'Today, I would love for her to say something human and sincere to me. I have huge emotional and psychological scars from my relationship with this towering and influential woman...

    '...she loves her two children and I am sure she will be the best grandmother...but there are so many people who have worked for her and have suffered huge emotional scarring….the list is endless. She has dashed so many on a frayed and tattered heap during her powerful rule'.

    In the Spring of 2018 Talley was expecting to prepare for his red carpet interviews for the Met Gala but nobody from Vogue had contacted him.

    When Talley called he was told such things were 'beneath' him but he saw it for what it was - a not so subtle signal to leave.


    He writes: 'This was clearly a stone-cold business decision. I had suddenly become too old, too overweight, too uncool, I imagined, for Anna Wintour.

    'After decades of loyalty and friendships...Anna should have had the decency and kindness to call me or send me an email saying: 'Andre, I think we have had a wonderful run with your interviews but we are going to try something new'.

    'I would have accepted that...I understand; nothing lasts forever. Simple human kindness. No, she is not capable'.

    Talley, who is clearly still wounded, writes that 'for years Anna was the most important woman in my universe' but now she had let him be 'thrown to the curb'.

    That October, Wintour did not wish Talley a happy birthday as she normally did and he considered their friendship 'officially over'.
    The next month he sent her a birthday email - she did not respond.

    Talley writes: 'I wonder, when she goes home alone at night, is she miserable? Does she feel alone?

    'Anna is so powerful and busy; she simply put me out of her existence. Now she treats me as a former employee, brief greetings, never anything more than perfunctory salutations'.

    Talley called Wintour 'ruthless' and writes that 'the Empress Wintour has disappointed me in her humanity'.

    With a dramatic flair, he writes: 'My hope is that she will find a way to apologize before I die, or if I linger on incapacitated before I pass, she will show up at my bedside, with an extended hand clasped into mine and say: 'I love you. You have no idea how much you have meant to me'. Not a day goes by when I do not think of Anna Wintour'.
    Talley has nothing but scorn for his replacement as the Vogue red carpet interviewer at the Met Gala last year, which appears to refer to YouTube star Liza Koshy, 24.

    With bitterness he writes: 'What could this talented YouTuber offer?

    'Surely she didn't know what a martingale back is to a Balenciagia one-seamed coat? Or did she know that Katie Holmes' Zac Posen dress, worn with great elegance, constructed with great technique, was a homage to the master architect Charles James?

    'Like an extinct dodo bird. my brain, rich and replete with knowledge, has been relegated to the history books'.

    Talley says that moving Vogue to One World Trade Center was the 'beginning of the end' for the old guard like him.

    Grace Coddington, one of the magazine's longest serving editors used to stay at the Ritz and was given a chauffeured town car.

    Now she has to 'queue in long lines at airport taxi stands in Europe', Talley writes, adding: 'It seems so hardscrabble and undignified'.

    Polly Mellen, who had been at Vogue for 30 years, was given a retirement party in Barneys' basement, which appalled him.

    Talley calls this 'ageism at its worst' and says that 'we are the dinosaurs of Vogue, an endangered species'.

    He says that the magazine's publishers Conde Nast is 'special in its ability to spit people out….you are dismissed without ceremony, like in the court of the Sun King...it is not a place of great empathy for humanity.'

    Andre Leon Talley reveals how his relationship with Anna Wintour ended
     
  2. jeanclaude

    jeanclaude Well-Known Member

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    He is very naïf if he thinks someone who treats other people badly is going to treat him differently...
     
  3. SophiaVB

    SophiaVB Well-Known Member

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    They both seem messy. Equally likely is that Andre's personal issues made him unsuitable to continue professionally at the standards Anna expects. He doesn't seem willing to change with the times & continues to lament an outdated way of running a magazine which no longer exists.
     
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  4. aracic

    aracic Moderator

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    As much as I love some good fashion drama, this is borderline pathetic from him.

    'My hope is that she will find a way to apologize before I die, or if I linger on incapacitated before I pass, she will show up at my bedside, with an extended hand clasped into mine and say: 'I love you. You have no idea how much you have meant to me'. Not a day goes by when I do not think of Anna Wintour'.

    Why in God's name would she apologize to him? She's a cold hearted b*tch, yes. But if you spent decades working closely with the woman, that shouldn't be news to you. She simply cut him out (unfortunately) and that's her choice. Even if it's wrong, apologizing for it would completely defeat her purpose and her character. He sounds like a left and betrayed lover. 'You've no idea how much you have meant to me'? I mean, come on! 'Not a day goes by when I do not think of Anna Wintour', obsessive much? In my eyes, this paints a worse picture of ALT than it does of Anna.

    The fact she replaced him, a very experienced and important figure in fashion with knowledge those newbies can't even dream of with a 24 year old Youtuber, of all people, says a lot about the current state of fashion industry. MET Gala is Costume Institute's fashion exhibiton. ALT is a perfect interviewer for it because he's there for fashion. But instead, you book kooky and clueless Liza Koshy who spends hours standing there gushing over everyone who walks in. She has no idea what they're wearing and what it represents and I doubt she cares. She's simply there to be there, and that's sad.

    'She is immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the pages of Vogue.' is something everyone with half a brain understands by now. It's sad, but it's always been the truth. However, nowadays the power isn't in celebrities and famous people. The power lies with regular people on social media who dictate what is and what isn't acceptable. The power lies with diversity and social justice warriors who require every race, size, shape, height, color and width to be represented on every page of every issue. And that trumps fashion.
    So now instead of talented people like ALT and Grace we have Nigels and Taylors who have no clue what they're doing and represent the lowest of standards, but they're praised for it because it's diversity. A story more tragic than André's broken heart.
     
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  5. GivenchyAddict

    GivenchyAddict Well-Known Member

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    I will not comment anything about this because ALT pissed me off a lot. He enjoyed a very lavish time at Vogue doing absolutely nothing than being flamboyant.

    He has the mentality of a child crying for his surrogate mother and he is so out of the reality that he has the nerve to complain about the 500$ which are "peanuts" whereas he had tons of interns during his prime who earned nothing for way more than he did for these MET gala things.

    I really despise him.
     
  6. dontbeadrag

    dontbeadrag Well-Known Member

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    I kind of feel annoyed by reading this. He reads just as he said “old and uncool”, but also whiny. To think that she would treat him differently? Also, really, he does appear like he doesn’t really fit in today’s Vogue, so I get why she dumped him.
    Well, pity she didn’t do it earlier, seeing how whiny he is instead is being happy for other people like Liza Koshy, who is learning and has all the life to learn fashion.
    Yeah, we get it, Andre, you miss free Louis trunks and Rolex watches, sure. Now stop your whinging and live on.
    Another person bashing Anna for his 5 minutes of fame. He is a popular fashion persona, but he is not on Anna’s level to go against her like this. Embarrassing.
     
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  7. dontbeadrag

    dontbeadrag Well-Known Member

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    I agree with every single word. Reading this I keep replaying that scene from September Issue of him being SO full of himself it’s crazy.
     
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  8. avonlea002

    avonlea002 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly they deserve each other. Two narcissists with overblown ego. Be gone.
    I love the drama. Hope to see more.
     
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  9. dodencebt

    dodencebt Well-Known Member

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    This is so embarrassing. He sounds bitter, and dismisses things all of us do - you know, queuing in long lines at airport taxi stands in Europe - as undignified? F*ck off, Andre. That is literally how nearly every other industry has worked and continues to work, you've just been living in a bubble all these years where you got unimaginable perks for doing so little.

    On a side note, he also trashed Karl before he died in a pathetic attempt for attention. They all deserved each other.
     
  10. Gabriel29

    Gabriel29 Well-Known Member

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    Anybody that saw their relationship could tell he was there to kiss her *** and be her diversity show puppy. Anna kept him around because the previous Vogue EIC Diana Vreeland loved him. At one point she demoted him all the way down to Contributing Editor. She does not like overweight people and was embarrassed for his name to be associated with Vogue. He should have left the minute she did that and become a celeb stylist, started his own magazine, or started consulting. Sad it took him loosing his job to finally see the light.
     
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  11. Melancholybaby

    Melancholybaby Well-Known Member

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    ^Did he really see the light though? That rant seems as far detached from reality as possible. I can't even imagine what salary he was on for what was practically a non-existent job. And now having to wait at a taxi stand with the plebs? What's next? An AirBnB flat instead of a suite at the Ritz? My heart breaks for him and his struggle.
     
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  12. mepps

    mepps Well-Known Member

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    Both of them are terrible people.
    He's whiny, and his book sounds like a mess.
    At the peak of his powers, and influence, he did nothing for his people.
    All he cared about was access parties, Aristocrats, and fashion houses.
    Should have been saving his money, and investing in his future. His book will flop hard.
    As far as Vogue is concerned, the writing is already on the wall. Anna has turned it into meaningless monthly promo, for the most uninteresting Hollywood stars. The current issue has a rose on the cover, and it's June/July. The glory days are long gone.
     
  13. Marc10

    Marc10 Moderator

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    I thought this would be juicy and entertaining to read... but the whole thing felt really sad and humiliating. Like the rantings of a psychotic ex boyfriend. The way he seems to attach his whole self worth around her. Not to to mention the cringy first world problems. It was a far bigger burn on him than her.
     
  14. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

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    Oh Andre! After Miuccia Prada and Karl Lagerfeld, here comes Anna Wintour.

    I think it’s very easy for someone like ALT, of all people, to come and suddenly trash Anna after decades of doing...Nothing.
    Andre though that name-dropping and being this flamboyant personality who knew Warhol, who spend weekends at Karl’s house was enough to maintain his status in this industry.

    I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed his flamboyant personality but what is his contribution to fashion? He was the only black man at that position. Where are the designers? The stylists? The editors? Where are the people he mentored? Yes thanks to him Jennifer Hudson got the cover of Vogue. He was a good diplomat to secure the celebrity covers or profiles for the magazines...But other than that?

    The fashion industry is a tough industry. Loulou de La Falaise died with no money. If you don’t find a way to make yourself valuable (in any industry), things are going to be to tough.

    What I see is a man who is bitter to have lost the status and prestige he used to have. He enjoyed the pleasure of being at CN at a time when just his culture and taste were enough. Times have changed.

    Personally, Anna’s behavior does not shock me. Not because it’s Anna but because it’s life. This ain’t the teletubbies.
    There’s nothing more annoying in life than having the feeling that you are doing more to help a person than the person herself.
     
  15. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

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    Anna kept Andre around because he was that cool guy, flamboyant personality who knew everybody who mattered in Fashion at that time. From YSL to Karl and all those big designers. Andre’s strength has always been his personality. But at some point, you have to reinvent yourself if you are at the most important fashion magazine in the world...

    When he left Vogue, he went to do Numero Russia and it was done in like 1/2 years. He went for the money...Apparently, he wasn’t paid everything that was due and stuff.

    Yes, he could have been a big celebrity stylist. He had all the connections, build a talent agency, mentor people of color for them to be part of the industry. Instead of that, he went for the comfort of CN while bringing nothing to the table.

    And about the overweight thing. Nobody in fashion loves overweight people. It’s very difficult to be in a industry of fantasy and dream and being overweight. Even plus sizes models in fashion aren’t plus size. Andre was one of those people who wrote the rules decades ago.
     
  16. GivenchyAddict

    GivenchyAddict Well-Known Member

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    ^ AMEN. Bye ALT. This guy was paid to go to Paris, he attended shows (what for) and at the end went to Charvet to buy pyjamas and he had the nerve to complain why Anna ditched him. This guy cost money for nothing.

    It should really question himself why three different personalities such as Anna, Miuccia and Karl decided to abandon him instead of trashing their name.
     
  17. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    Poor guy. Reading that 'exclusive extract obtained by Daily Mail.com' just furthers my opinion of him. That he had all the promise, all that scholarly knowledge of fashion without even attending fashion school, the opportunities, yet didn't do anything with it? Too blinded by the glitz and the glam. Where is his EIC role beyond Numero, his consultancy for a brand that isn't Vogue, his social responsibility efforts? Just reinforces my mindset that you should always see things for what they are and never fall into the trap of living for the moment. Everything could be taken from you with a click of two fingers. The tragedy of the situation is that it took way, way longer for ALT to be in this pitiful state where he is now. He failed to face the fact that one day he would follow the same fate as countless others who have also ceremoniously fallen out of favour. This storyline is as old as the hills. Got cushy with his surroundings, thought his friendship with Anna would shield him from being cut off, didn't adapt to the times unlike many of his peers. I mean, the mere fact that he ran back to Vogue when Numero Russia folded just shows that ALT would always be that type of employee. The sidekick, the Gretchen Wieners to Anna's Regina George. And that sort of loyalty may have been idealised decades ago but it's actually considered a crutch nowadays.
    Everyone will fixate on this story for now, and some may even buy his book because who doesn't like a gossipy scandal, but what's next for him beyond that? He can blame Anna until he's blue in his face and on some points it would be justified, but it was his responsibility to navigate his own future. Not hers. Hamish Bowles better wake up and smell the coffee, this could be his future.

    I hope ALT not talking on behalf of Grace and Polly Mellen with those tone-deaf soundbites about them because part of me thinks Grace would see no problem queuing for a cab. And yet I'm 100% certain both of them discussed that with him in confidence and he's talking out of turn as usual.
     
  18. avonlea002

    avonlea002 Well-Known Member

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    This article perfectly shows how far detached from reality some people are. The industry has changed, magazines are dying yet instead of doing something we have figures like Andre who prefer to live in their bubble and pretend that nothing is happening.
    I am not surprised she got rid of him. He was useless. How long can u thrive on being cool? Talley may have the knowledge but so do hundreds of other people who will probably never experience his lifestyle. With all the money, contacts, "friendships" he could have easily started own project that would secure his future life. Maybe Anna is a b*tch but blaming everyone for your laziness is laughable. You would expect some maturity from a 70 yo man.

    What did he say about Miuccia?
     
  19. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

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    From his nytimes interview
     
  20. Xone

    Xone Well-Known Member

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    This man is soo entitled....and yet he just embarrased himself saying those kind of things and for what? to sell copies of your book?...i understand he lived and enjoyed when things were different and oppulence reigns, but that happens when people think they are untouchable, they disconnect from reality.

    Even as hard as she is, people would sympathize more with Anna than whith ALT,

    What was the figth with Karl and Miuccia? they didn't "abandon" him for no reason right?
     

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