Remembering André Leon Talley Through His Most Memorable Quotes

This week former Vogue fashion editor André Leon Talley sadly passed away at a hospital in White Plains, New York. He was 72 years old.

Known to many around the world as one of the premiere fashion icons for several decades, Talley got his start with the renowned magazine in 1983, climbing the corporate ladder for the next several years to eventually become creative director in 1988. He held that position for seven years, which at the time was one of the most powerful positions held by a black man in fashion. He ended his career with Vogue in 2013 as the magazine’s editor-at-large.

Later in life he serve as a judge on the reality show "America’s Next Top Model" and stylist to First Lady Michelle Obama.

Friends of his took to Twitter after hearing the news touting his bigger-than-life persona (with help from his 6’ 7” tall frame) and inimitable panache. “Good bye darling André,” Tweeted close friend Diane Von Furstenberg. “ … no one saw the world in a more elegant and glamorous way than you did.”

Throughout his tenure Talley had a lot to say about the moments he shared with the world. Here are but a few of his most memorable — and inspiring — quotes from his legacy. (And check out the fits!)

“Beauty is health. Health is beauty.”

“Wearing clothes should be a personal narrative of emotion. I always respond to fashion in an emotional way.”

“I don’t tear down. I prefer to build up.”

“Be kind. Smile. I read this somewhere: ‘If you smile, it means you are in control of your destiny.’”

“I scorched the earth with my talent and I let my light shine.”

To read or see more about him, his memoir "The Chiffon Trenches" is available anywhere books can be found and the semi-recently released documantary "The Gospel According to André" can be streamed now via HBO Max and Hulu.