Over 15 hours since former Vogue editor Leon Talley's death was revealed, Anna Wintour has shared a tribute to the former colleague she reportedly said was "too old, too overweight, too uncool".
Talley died at a hospital in White Plains, New York from Covid-19 complications, reports The Sun.
He was a huge force in Vogue's success during the 1980s and 90s, working his way up to the role of news director from 1983 to 1987 before he became creative director in 1988.
Talley claimed in his 2020 memoir that he was left with "huge emotional and psychological scars" after working with the infamously icy editor after she commented on his weight.
Amid backlash online, current editor-in-chief Wintour shared a statement saying the loss was "immeasurable" and acknowledging the fallout.
"It's the loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it's immeasurable," she said.
"He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny — mercurial, too. Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years, and who we will all miss so much."
Talley was the editor of Vogue for seven years before becoming editor-at-large. He left the company in 2013.
After his departure, Talley contributed to Vogue for several years, even appearing on its official podcast.
He was known for his eye-catching style and is remembered for blazing trails in the fashion world for inclusivity, particularly for black models.
Talley worked as a stylist for the Obamas during Barack's presidency and was also a judge on America's Next Top Model. He's also considered an icon for the LGBTQ+ community.
He never explicitly talked about his sexuality, but told The Wendy Williams Show in 2018, "No, I'm not heterosexual; I'm saying I'm fluid in my sexuality, darling."
He was raised by his grandmother in North Carolina, gaining an interest in fashion when he was young after seeing what women wore in church. She encouraged him to pursue his interests and he attended Brown University to study French literature.
Talley interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland.
After that, he went to Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine and then to Women's Wear Daily.
Talley moved to Paris while working for the latter and was in touch with several powerful fashion designers, forming friendships with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.