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  • Writer's pictureJermaine Thomas, II

André Leon Talley's Impact on the 2022 Met Gala

Updated: May 26, 2022

The first Monday in May, an annual date that is always booked for The Met Gala. This year’s iteration took place this past Monday, May 2nd in New York City at The Metropolitan Museum of Art revealing part two of its American exhibition, In America: An Anthology of Fashion.

As usual, stars graced the carpet in breathtaking fashions. From Blake Lively stunning in a Lady Liberty-inspired two-part look to Jasmine Tookes being seen in the most lovely flowing emerald green gown. I could go on and on about the wonderful women that graced the carpet however, I want to call attention to the legacy of the late Andre Leon Talley.

Talley most notably served as the Creative Director at Vogue from1988 to 2013. Talley was a trailblazer for Black culture in fashion. Often the only Black person in the front row at many fashion shows, he always carried the spirit of Black Excellence. He understood that his Blackness entered every room with him, and made sure to bring awareness to other Black people deserving of recognition in the fashion industry.

Talley was known for a wide range of things; a boisterous personality, beaming smile, and immaculate taste, to name a few. But not many things are as iconic as his signature capes. In his 2017 documentary film, he says, “They are very formal and regal. When you are wearing a cape, you are going to behave differently; you're going to stand differently and walk differently.” As seen on the right, Talley found the perfect statement piece in capes. All photos copyrighted by Wenn.

As Talley died on January 2022 at the age of 73 due to complications of a heart attack, a few Black men took to the MET Gala runway to pay tribute to the trailblazer. During his interview on the MET Gala steps, the designer of the eponymous brand Victor Glemaund mentioned Talley directly as they stood in the spot Talley held for years conducting interviews as stars entered past Galas. View the carousel below to see which men took notes from Andrè’s book last Monday.

From L to R: Victor Glemaund in Custom H&M, Questlove in Zegna, Kid Cudi in Kenzo, Stormzy in Burberry. All Photos are copyrighted by Getty Images.

If you’re interested in learning more about André Leon Talley’s life and career, you can hear about it directly from Talley in his autobiographies, A.L.T: A Memoir and The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir and the HBO Documentary Film, "The Gospel According to André". Support small owned bookstores where you can!

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