Longtime editor of Vogue magazine, Andre Leon Talley, who has moved on to other opportunities including a recent announcement of work with Zappos, speaks frankly in the preview above with an upcoming Own TV “Wear Are They Now” episode. In the clip above he speaks on the fashion industry’s glass ceiling and dismisses claims that Anna Wintour is cold.
Much is made of a lack of diversity on the runway but Talley sheds light on a bigger issue, which is that there is an overall lack of people of color at the executive level in the fashion business. This is an issue in many industries, though it pops out more in fashion in part because of the visibility around and attention drawn to runways and models, but also because fashion has shown itself to me more gay and female friendly than other businesses.
As well, the fashion world is seen as more purely creative and as such it comes under more scrutiny because there is a belief among many that corporate designers often are inspired by and “steal” from fashion-minded black people, but don’t consider people of color when it comes to job offerings.
It’s not clear how deeply Talley will delve into the topic of racism and the fashion industry though clearly it’s an area where the industry could do so much more, whether with outreach or mentoring programs. We are excited to see the full episode, which will air February 7th. Visit this link for details.
The full transcript for the video clip is as follows:
I loved my life at Vogue. I loved being at Vogue. Vogue is the ultimate place if you’re working in fashion in a fashion magazine. I always felt that even though Vogue has been fabulous to me. There was always this silent, taking for granted, very few people of diversity, not just at Vogue, there have been very few people of color who have risen as far as I have in the industry. I felt I had gone to what is called the glass ceiling there and nothing else was going to happen. I went to Anna Wintour and told her quite frankly I need to think about my future.
Anna Wintour is the most powerful woman in fashion there arguably. She’s tough in business. But she’s tough in business with a lovely lack of veneer. She is not cold. She is just a guarded person. She’s a very, very warm person if you are her friend. She’s been there for me in the worst moments of my life. She constantly, constantly concerned about my weight.