The former editor-at-large says, "There have been very few people of color who have risen far as I have in the industry."
With New York Fashion Week currently underway, former Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley has taken a moment to address the issue of diversity in fashion and why he decided to step down from his position at Vogue last year after 30 years with the publication.
"I always felt that even though Vogue has been fabulous to me, there was always this silent taking for granted — very few people of diversity. Not just at Vogue, there have been very few people of color who have risen far as I have in the industry," Talley says in an episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? "I felt I had gone to what is called the glass ceiling there, and nothing else was going to happen. I went to Anna Wintour and told her, quite frankly, I need to think about my future."
Talley ended up taking a position as editor of the Russian edition of the fashion magazine Numéro, but he says that he and Wintour are still good friends. And while many might see the Vogue editor-in-chief of 26 years as a tough, no-nonsense devil in Prada, Talley says she's powerful, but warm-hearted if you can get under the armor.
"She is the most powerful woman in fashion today, arguably," he says. "She's tough in business but she's tough in business with a lovely lacquered veneer. She is not cold, she is just a guarded person. And she's a very, very warm person if you're her friend. She's been there for me in the worst moments of my life. She's constantly, constantly concerned about my weight."
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(Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)