THE ART OF LIVING By Emil Wilbekin “I'd like to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of young people — that I nurtured someone and taught them to pursue their dreams and their careers, to leave a legacy.” — André Leon Talley André Leon Talley’s life was a masterpiece. A vision that he created, curated, and carefully constructed in his mind’s eye. His imagination was immense, his work ethic impeccable, and his intellect inimitable. He is undeniably one of the most creative and powerful figures in fashion history who’s work — notably during his 4 decades at Vogue — was simultaneously groundbreaking, breathtaking, and otherworldly. Aside from his love for grandeur, French culture, fashion history, and literature, it was ALT’s intense passion to reimagine the world where he had the greatest impact. As a Black man, he single handedly infiltrated the worlds of fashion and media at the highest levels to not only integrate these often exclusionary enterprises, but he also existed as a stealth freedom fighter who became an integral possibility model for future generations of Black Creatives who would be able to realize their dreams to become Editor-in-Chiefs, Digital Directors, Fashion Directors, Fashion Journalists, Fashion Critics, and Stylists who would shape shift our culture and reimagine our world view. We will alway remember Andre’s larger-than-life presence, his towering stature at 6-feet, 6-inches tall, and his magnificent dedication to fashion, flourish, and all things fabulous. But what we now know about ALT’s life in death, is that it was his sacrifice, his deep commitment to God and his beloved Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and his generosity of spirit were the foundation hidden beneath the imposing facade. Bequeathing his intellectual property to his church shows the real fabric of this creative genius’ character. His legacy is one of opulence, service, and a master class in the art of living audaciously with style and grace.