Andre Leon Talley On ZeeCee, Dressing Fabulously and (Sort Of) Solange
Andre Leon Talley’s larger-than-life personality and eye for style make him a prominent voice in fashion—and though it used to be by way of Vogue, he’s now taking the digital sector by storm. In his new position at Zappos Couture, Talley oversees editorial content for the site, including fashion shoots, videos and trend picks. To get a better idea of his new (digital!) role, and a little bit of extra style advice, we went straight to the source—oh, and don’t think we passed up the opportunity to try to get a little bit of scoop on Solange-gate. That’s right, just keep reading…
What was it like to go from print to digital? Easy. I was already doing digital at Vogue, so it was an easy concept for me. There was no transition. I’ve been in fashion for so long—at first I didn’t understand it, but digital is the way of the future. You create your own message to the format of your own individuality. For me, it’s no sense of “this is more difficult for me.”
What’s the type of “individuality” that you’re trying to get across with Zappos Couture? I always talk about people that impact my life, that are friends of mine: Rachel Maddow, Mike Tyson, Kim Kardashian. I don’t just talk about a bag or a pair of shoes. I talk about people, and that’s important. You cannot just talk about a shoe, a handbag and a pair of sunglasses. You have to talk about things that draw people in. Rihanna, her choices of dresses, how she changes her style over time, that’s what I do. I notice, I observe and I share that on my site.
Who would you consider modern style stars? Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce.
Who are some up and coming designers we should know about? A menswear line [designed by Jonathan Koon] called Private Stock, which will soon be featured on our site (mid-July), and Public School.
How would you describe them both? Modern, free spirit, independence, unorthodox.
Did you play a role in discovering these designers for Zappos? I’m proud to say, I think I’m responsible for [discovering] Jonathan of Private Stock and Public School. I’m happy I brought those two.
What are some tips to help women stay looking elegant throughout the summer? I do think there are women in New York who do not see themselves before they leave the house. I think a man or woman must dress appropriately, and according to size. You can be a big plus girl and look fabulous, but you cannot be a plus girl in a midriff top and a miniskirt walking down the street, exposing. [As a] fabulous, voluptuous girl, there are places where you can find [plus-size fashions], such as Isabelle Tillier’s collection for Lane Bryant. I think that to be fabulous and glamorous is up to the individual, as long as you are not dressed like you’re at the beach and your body is not appropriately fit enough for a bikini.
What are some accessories we can wear to elevate our summer style? Flat shoes, appropriately…flat sandals: a chic Birkenstock or variation of a Birkenstock. I don’t know if you’re aware of Earth shoes from the 70s. Bring back the Earth shoe—Google it! I had about eight pairs. But, I think it’s important that people are comfortable. Glamour is in the eye of the individual [and] women can wear anything they want, as long as they don’t look like they are not thinking about the clothes for their body shapes.
What are the chicest places to vacation this summer? Your back porch. Your front porch. Your patio. Or your favorite city.
Is there any place you’re trying to get to this summer? My back porch. My front porch. And my yard.
Any comment on Solange/Beyonce/Jay-Z situation? No comment! None! Pas de two. None! [Ed note: We tried.]