Fashion legend André Leon Talley has died. He was 73.
The famed writer and former Vogue creative director had been in the hospital battling an unknown illness, TMZ reported Tuesday.
News of Talley’s death quickly circulated on social media, with designer Diane von Fürstenberg writing on Instagram,
Contacts for Talley did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Talley first joined Vogue in 1983 as the magazine’s fashion news director. He quickly rose to creative director and editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s right-hand — a position he held from 1987 to 1995. He left Vogue in 1995 and moved to Paris, where he returned to W Magazine after working at the publication earlier in his career.
He continued contributing to Vogue as an editor until he rejoined the magazine in 1998 full-time as the editor-at-large, writing the monthly column Style Fax. He stayed in this role until his final departure from Vogue in 2013.
Over his career, Talley also contributed to Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and Interview Magazine. He is also the subject of the documentary The Gospel According to André, which was released in 2018.
In May 2020, he released a memoir about his life and career, titled The Chiffon Trenches, which chronicles his improbable rise from the front porch of his grandmother’s home in Durham, North Carolina, to the front rows of fashion.
Among the many details in the book, Talley opened up about the end of his time at Vogue and how his 30-year friendship with Wintour eventually became fractured.
“I think my relationship is in an iceberg with her,” Talley said during an interview with Gayle King in 2020. “I hope that it will not be that forever.”
Talley recently spoke to PEOPLE Deputy West Coast Editor Jason Sheeler.
“I spoke to him last week, reaching out for a story I am working on. In true ALT style, I emailed and texted him for a couple of days and then received an all-caps text CALL ME NOW,” Sheeler, who has interviewed Talley many times over his career, recalls from the interaction.
“When you asked André a question you had to be ready for the answer. He always had an answer. He had a perspective on fashion that went far beyond clothes and fashion magazines — he connected dots many people couldn’t see, from runway to fine art to celebrity to models to photography to pop culture,” Sheeler adds. “Last week, our interview became a fashion history lesson, as it often did. He spoke about one of the most famous quotes in all of fashion history — the seminal ‘We don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day’ that Linda Evangelista said to Vogue in 1990. And, André of course had a way to contextualize it.”
“He told me, ‘Today, it would be very relevant for a woman to say that for proper equity, you know? It would not be considered like a snobbish, elitist, thing. It would be considered, a person of value speaking out for her rights.’ “