Tale of Two Giants

How the two most powerful men in fashion helped change the world

The fashion world suffered two immense losses recently. In a blink of an eye, and just two months apart, Andre Leon Talley and Virgil Abloh were no longer here physically.

They were giants — not just in stature. But because of their vision, mastery and leadership, they’ve left behind history-bending legacies. Both creating a broader representation of Black faces in spaces we were frankly, not welcome or accepted.

Andre Leon Talley was a tall Black man with a larger-than-life personality, and that did not fit the mold of your typical fashion savant.

He grew up in the segregated South during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and found his escape through the discovery of Vogue Magazine as a young man in a local library. While thumbing through the pages he saw Black people for the first time, and in those moments decided that fashion couldn’t be racist.

Decades later, he would serve as Editor-At-Large for Vogue Magazine, and editor for many other publications under the Conde Nast masthead.

Some would call it serendipitous, however, as he rose to prominence and success in his field, he faced tremendous amounts of prejudice and bigotry.