André Leon Talley, the former general editor of Moda, will release a new memory in September 2023, a revelation that reveals the supposedly ruthless side of editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Before the book’s release in April 2023, the Daily Mail juicy excerpts posted for fans to analyze.
Talley, who was born in 1949, retains nothing when writing about his former boss. He said of Wintour, according to the published excerpt from The Gauze Trenches, “She is immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the Fashion pages” Talley added: “She has ruthlessly turned her best friends into the tallest people 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.
Although Talley revealed not-so-flattering details about Wintour, he also made sure to say that she “made her career” and that they used to be extremely close.
So why did these two friends separate? We dissect the gossip after the jump.
André Leon Talley admitted that he was “very afraid” of Anna Wintour
In his new memoir, The Trenches of Chiffon , André Leon Talley spoke about the influential role Anna Wintour had in her career. Talley shared that, when in 1983 he got a job as a fashion news editor at Moda Wintour was the creative director at the time. She eventually became a “powerful ally” of his, as he recalled in Gauze Trenches (via Daily Mail) . Despite this bond, Talley admitted that he was “terribly afraid” of her, something that his late friend, famous artist Andy Warhol, used to make fun of.
Talley also recounted the winding journey that he and Wintour had earlier in their careers. He said that after Wintour went to England to work as an editor for British Moda , he became the style editor at Vanity Fair . Then Wintour returned to the United States to become editor of Home & Garden, and when she became the editor-in-chief of Fashion in 1988, she brought Talley with her.
Wintour later made Talley the Fashion Creative Director, officially transforming him into the “highest-ranking black man in the history of fashion journalism and the most important men’s fashion writer,” as the celebrated Daily Mail . Under Wintour, Talley got the best jobs, such as filming Madonna’s first cover for the magazine in 1989 at her Los Angeles home.
André Leon Talley didn’t feel great enough for Anna Wintour
André Leon Talley shared that at one point, something changed in his friendship with Anna Wintour. There were tumultuous periods, and Talley even went out of fashion for a while, and when he returned as general editor, his weight allegedly became a problem for Wintour. He even arranged an intervention to put Talley on a diet.
Talley claims they got him out of cool Fashion projects, like conducting interviews on the Met Gala red carpet. When asked why he was kicked out of these projects, Wintour allegedly responded with “silent treatment.” As Talley explained, that is “the way you solve any problem.”
Talley said he soon saw these alleged slights as his signal to leave, adding: “This was clearly a very cold business decision. Suddenly I had become too old, too fat, too cold, I imagined, for Anna Wintour. Talley also said that Wintour “is not capable” of “simple human goodness.” Ouch .
Talley said he felt Wintour threw him “on the sidewalk” and shared that he believes their friendship was officially ended.
Although it is a sad story, at least Talley is still in touch with his journalistic roots, taking the time to write this new memory.