Fashion Icon André Leon Talley Weighs in on Cultural Racism

Image of Andre Leon Talley, Rose Pierre-Louis, and Alexis Thomas using video conferencing software

NEW YORK CITY – July 15, 2020— The fashion industry is among those that have come under recent scrutiny for how racial inequities are reflected, reinforced and confronted within it. Yesterday, fashion icon André Leon Talley shared his insights about this unique cultural moment, as well as his storied career within the industry, during a Zoom conversation hosted by the Greater New York Chapter of the Links, Inc. and co-sponsored by the NYU McSilver Institute. The moderator was Alexis Thomas, CEO of Preston Hollow Consultants and a member of the Greater New York Chapter of The Links.

Video Recording

Talley discussed his new memoir The Chiffon Trenches, which provides a candid behind-the-scenes look at his career as Vogue‘s editor-at-large, as well as the ups and downs of life in fashion, racism within the industry, and all of the extraordinary people he has met along the way.  “It’s about how I survived in the chiffon trenches through my faith, my church—my religion—and my ancestral past. My ancestral past is very important to me.”

In answer to a question about the recent Vogue cover of gymnast Simone Biles, which revived a debate about how Black beauty is depicted within the magazine, Talley responded that he wished he’d been given more input on such decisions. Yet, he said, “The institutions of slavery are embedded in the psyche of the white space of American cultural institutions.”

The evening’s discussion was introduced by NYU McSilver Institute’s COO Rose Pierre-Louis, who also led the audience Q&A.

Many thanks to the other lead sponsors for the evening, which included:

  • The Greater New York Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • The Brooklyn (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Greater Bronx (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Eastern Shore (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Greater Queens (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • The Greater Hudson Valley (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • The Long Island (NY Chapter) of  The Links, Inc.
  • The Westchester Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Metro-Manhattan (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Delta Sigma Theta – North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha – Tau Omega Chapter
  • Effie’s Paper
  • Diane Liotta Home Fragrances
  • Must Have Accessories