André Leon Talley opened up in an interview with Tamron Hall on The Tamron Hall Show about the massive pay gap between him and other Vogue editors. He revealed that he recently found out from “someone of authority” that the women fashion editors who worked with him there were making almost $1 million while his salary was only $300,000. “They don’t make that anymore, but this is what comes when you live in America when you’re a Black person, you have to wake up and you know there’s a double standard,” he says.
In the last year, the New York Times bestselling author has sparked several headlines surrounding his memoir, The Chiffon Trenches. In what was set to be a scathing portrait of the fashion industry, the memoir also dissected the complicated relationship Talley had with his friend and former boss, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. In the interview, the 71-year-old mentioned they currently communicate strictly via email surrounding the diversity issues at Vogue. “She was there in my life at a really important time. We are friendly, and we care about each other,” he says. “In this complicated friendship, in this passive-aggressive friendship, you know we sail by each other’s port of call, we sometimes miss each other’s port of call, but sometimes we navigate back around, and I’m looking forward to the day when Anna Wintour calls me and says, ‘Come to my house in Bellport for the weekend.'”
Talley is the long-acclaimed former creative director and American editor-at-large of Vogue. He was the magazine’s fashion news director for four years and its creative director from 1988 to 1995. Wintour and Talley fell out in 2018 when she replaced him with a YouTube star for the red carpet interviews at the Met Gala in 2018 and he is still hurt about the snub today. He said: “If Anna had called and said, ‘André, we’re thinking of going in a different direction [for the Met ball], it’s important for our brand,’ I would have said, ‘Fine. That’s great.’ And I’d have come in my Tom Ford cape — I always wear Tom Ford — and enjoyed my dinner. Talley also revealed that his book is being potentially turned into a movie and that Leslie Odom Jr. has expressed interest in playing Talley in the film.
You can watch the full interview below: