André Leon Talley Estate Goes to Auction at Christie’s

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Bob Colacello, André Leon Talley, Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger at her birthday dinner, Mortimers, 1981

Art and design from the estate of André Leon Talley, former creative director of Vogue, is up for sale at Christie’s. Talley, who died at the age of 73 in 2021, was known for his fashion breakthroughs despite being marginalized by his industry peers.

Designer merchandise, including panniers, robes and sunglasses from designer labels such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, will be listed for sale next month by Talley Estate’s legal executors. A group of items from the estate will go to the Savannah College of Art and Design, where Talley was a board member.

The auction on February 15 in New York is expected to fetch $1 million. Proceeds from the sale will go to support two historically Black Churches.

The auction will sell three Andy Warhol silkscreens, priced between $15,000 and $20,000 each. One of them features a picture of Diana Vreeland, Talley’s mentor and former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Louis Vuitton trunks – Courtesy

Another photo of a young André Leon sitting with Warhol and Bianca Jagger at dinner in 1981 is attributed to Bob Collacello, former editor of Interview. Two-wheeled yellow magazine boxes emblazoned with the phrase “Andy Warhol Interview” in black italics, commemorating the first decade of the publication will be also on sale.

Artwork and costume designs by historical names in the fashion industry can also be seen at other locations. Along with the Warhols, three tricolor collages of bust silhouettes by Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood’s dressing gown, and sketches by Karl Lagerfeld are on display. The latter was named this week’s theme for the Costume Institute’s annual gala.

A significant portion of the items was recovered from André Leon Talley’s home in White Plains, New York, and include unique designs by Tom Ford and Diane von Furstenberg, photographs taken by the late Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton trunks (including one featured in a cameo ALT in Sex and the City), books, a Chanel tennis racket, lots of Prada crocodile coats, vintage books, and more.

Talley and Alber Elbaz attend the “Poiret: King of Fashion” Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007. Getty Images

When Vogue editor André Leon Talley died last year at the age of 73, there was an acute sense of loss in the fashion community. His contribution will be missed, but perhaps even more so his very presence. He treated his existence as a magnificent art project.  André Leon could let a game of tennis in Louis Vuitton or stand on the stairs of the Met Gala dressed in a theatrical coat as an interviewer – often the only one with whom the best guests of the evening could chat publicly.

However, until February 17, everyone will be able to master part of the editor’s legacy.

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