André Leon Talley, who died Tuesday at the age of 73, wasn’t just a fashion editor — he was also a confidante and occasional stylist to many of the entertainment world’s biggest stars.
In addition to styling countless magazine covers, the then-Vogue editor famously dressed Jennifer Hudson for the 2007 Academy Awards, where the singer and actress took home an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls. After departing Vogue, Talley developed a wearables line with his friend Will.i.am and served as a behind-the-scenes consultant for a number of artists, providing guidance on everything from album covers to personal branding.
Talley was also one of the few journalists who had direct access to Kanye West, interviewing the rapper-cum-designer multiple times as he was developing his Yeezy fashion line. Talley even attended Ye’s wedding to Kim Kardashian, and was famously blurred out when the nuptials aired on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
And while he made cameos on everything from Sex and the City to Empire, music fans will best remember Talley’s appearance in the 2006 video for Mariah Carey’s “Say Somethin” — a mid-tempo track featuring Snoop Dogg and Pharrell that was released as the sixth single from The Emancipation of Mimi.
Filmed inside the Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris, the “Say Somethin” video features Talley and Carey surveying shelves of clothing and accessories inside the luxury boutique, as the singer preps for a night out on the town with Pharrell. Talley also styled Carey in some of the looks featured in the clip.
The pair remained close friends after the collaboration, with Talley most recently helping Carey pick out a gown for a 2017 performance honoring Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld. In a subsequent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Talley doubled down on his love for the “Fantasy” singer, calling her “very gracious” and adding that he “love[d] her style.”
For her part, Carey paid tribute to her friend on social media Wednesday, calling him “fashion’s elegant giant” alongside two photos of herself with Talley.
In a tweet, Carey wrote, “Emancipated from the troubles of this world. Land softly and safely my friend into the loving arms of Almighty God,” she wrote.
Fashion’s elegant giant has fallen. Emancipated from the troubles of this world. Land softly and safely my friend into the loving arms of Almighty God.
Rest in Power and Grace, Andre Leon Talley👑 pic.twitter.com/OPId0UNI7t
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 19, 2022