Andre Leon Talley MA'73, contributing editor and former editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, recently became a judge for the 14th season of hit CW TV series "America's Next Top Model."
Talley, who earned his master's degree in French at Brown, is replacing J. Alexander and judging alongside Nigel Barker and Tyra Banks.
He told Women's Wear Daily that Banks wanted him to be a judge for the show's first season, but he refused because he "wanted to see where (the show) goes." After 13 successful cycles, he finally agreed, telling the magazine, "I just felt that it was a way to step out of the box and associate myself with a very important American success story, a very important brand — Tyra Banks."
Talley has been incredibly influential in the fashion world. He was ranked number 45 in Out magazine's "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America." In 2008, he introduced Michelle Obama to designer Jason Wu, from whom she bought her dress for the inauguration.
On "Top Model," Talley is sometimes brutally honest and pays great attention to detail. On the April 21 episode "Big Hair Day," he blatantly told a model, "What bothers me is the stereotypical point of the toe on the left leg, which could be sort of cliche."
But when he loves a picture, he lets the model know. In the same episode, he told another contestant, "The way you have your feet positioned, it's high fashioned, it's couture. … I would think Alexander McQueen might have put this in his runway show. It would end up on the page of W magazine, and we would think, this is a killer dress. I applaud you."