Beginning this week, Christie’s fine auction house of New York will present the collection of legendary fashion editor André Leon Talley.
The first out gay and Black man to hold the title of Creative Director of American Vogue, Talley was held in unprecedented esteem in the fashion industry and was a continuing source of pride in Durham, North Carolina, the city where he was raised by his grandmother.
Although he was born in 1948 in Washington, D.C. he was raised in Durham, North Carolina by his maternal grandmother Binnie Francis Davis, who worked as a maid at Duke University. His interest in fashion began when the two of them would attend church together. It was there he took notice of the high fashion Davis’s friends would wear to the Sunday services.Not surprisingly, Talley’s refined taste extended well beyond fashion, as reflected in his own collection of personally acquired items, which includes haute couture, handbags, jewelry, fine art, literature and decorative arts. The collection is both glamorous and intimate, reflecting his decades-long relationships with fellow icons including Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Rucci, Tom Ford, Diana Vreeland and Anna Wintour.
Proceeds from the live and online auctions will benefit the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina; both of which were close to Mr. Talley’s heart.