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André Leon Talley to Receive French Cultural Honour

Andre Leon Talley attends "The Gospel According To Andre" premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. Getty Images.
Andre Leon Talley attends "The Gospel According To Andre" premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. Getty Images. (Roy Rochlin)

The former Vogue editor will be made a chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a recognition for contribution to the arts in France, where he has lived intermittently throughout his life. The news was first reported by WWD and confirmed by Talley via his personal Instagram. Designer Valentino Garavani, as well as late photographer and writer Bill Cunningham, are two of just a few fashion insiders to be included.

“I am a person who has appreciated the relevancy of France — the culture, the history, and every aspect of refinement, style, architecture, gardens, fashion, haute cuisine, Versailles, churches, the history — even its bad history, i.e., the revolution and the guillotine,” he told WWD. “I think I am a custodian of France.”

Years after stepping back from his work at American Vogue, Talley made news in 2020 for The Chiffon Trenches, his second memoir detailing relationships and experiences with some of the industry’s most influential personalities. More recently, his battle against eviction from his White Plains, N.Y., home — owned by former Manolo Blahnik US president George Malkemus — has served as tabloid fodder. However, it has also inspired deeper scrutiny of the way in which favours are exchanged within the fashion world.

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