André Leon Talley: Condé Nast editors unable to see ‘world through black eyes’

André Leon Talley charges that the top editors at Condé Nast — including Anna Wintour — are incapable of seeing “the world through black eyes.”

The longtime Vogue editor-at-large writes in his new memoir, “The Chiffon Trenches,” out May 19, that he wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post praising the “history-making” 2018 September Vogue cover featuring Beyoncé — the first cover in the magazine’s history to be shot by a black photographer.

But the 70-year-old claimed that not a single editor at the famed publishing house contacted him about his article.

Talley writes in his memoir, “When I first saw this cover, I knew it was history in the making.”

“Chosen at Beyoncé’s suggestion, photographer Tyler Mitchell, at only twenty-three years old, became the first black man to shoot a cover image in the 123-year history of one of the most prestigious magazines to ever exist.”

He said the images of the singer standing against a white sheet in the fresh air symbolized black women who worked as laundresses to survive.

“Upon [the op-ed] publication,” Talley noted, “I sent a link to Susan Plagemann, the publisher of Vogue. She was thrilled with the piece and sent it off to every major editor in the Condé Nast lineup, including Anna Wintour.”

He added, “Not one of those editors wrote me about the piece. Not one quick email from Anna Wintour. Editors I’ve worked with for decades didn’t understand the immense importance of this occasion simply because they are not capable of understanding. None of my contemporaries have seen the world through black eyes.”

Meanwhile, Mitchell tweeted in 2018 — after reports surfaced claiming that Beyoncé had chosen him —that Anna Wintour and Raul Martinez, Condé Nast’s Corporate Creative Director, had suggested him for the shoot. “Beyoncé quickly agreed,” Mitchell tweeted.

Condé Nast sources also denied to Page Six that Talley’s article had been ignored, saying that many people in the company had read and appreciated it.

In the memoir, Talley charted his rise from Durham, North Carolina, to the epicenter of the Manhattan’s fashion world — from nights out with Andy Warhol, whom he worked for at Interview magazine — to his meeting with Karl Lagerfeld, the late Chanel designer, who he was close friends with for 40 years “until we weren’t.”

Talley noted they fell out after Talley suggested — “in front of a new group of friends Lagerfeld was hanging out with” — that Lagerfeld hold a joint exhibition with photographer Deborah Turbeville.

Lagerfeld’s ego, Talley said, “wouldn’t let him support another artist in the realm of photography,” and described the episode as “a colossal blunder.”

The two never spoke again and Lagerfeld allegedly went so far, according to Talley, as to take him off the guest list for Chanel shows. A source told Page Six that the pair had once been so close that Talley stayed with him in Paris, flown over on Lagerfeld’s private jet to see him.

Meanwhile, Talley also revealed how Warhol would often stick his hands in Talley’s crotch — always in public, never in private — saying: “I would just swat him away, the way I did annoying flies in the summer on my front porch in the South.”

Warhol also asked Talley to take part in his Oxidation paintings aka “the piss paintings” — but he declined for fear of breaking his mom’s heart. He tried to get him to take part in his sex paintings as well, telling him “you could make your c–k famous.” Again, Talley declined.

Elsewhere in his memoir, Talley recalled sharing a baked potato and caviar with the late designer Halston — alongside lines of cocaine — although he said he only dabbled in drugs.

And Talley confessed how he was surrounded by sex amongst New York’s debauched artsy scene but was sexually “repressed” — forced to confront his abuse at the hands of men in his neighborhood while growing up.

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