Naomi Campbell shares heartfelt tribute to André Leon Talley

"Seeing you so happy and in your zone is how I choose to remember you," the supermodel wrote to Talley, recalling their trip to Nigeria.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote a lengthy and loving tribute to her friend, fashion icon André Leon Talley, who died Tuesday at the age of 73. 

In two separate posts on Instagram, Campbell shared photos of herself and the famed creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine through the years. She penned it in the form of a letter.

In two Instagram posts, supermodel Naomi Campbell (left) wrote a lengthy, loving tribute to her friend, Vogue magazine icon André Leon Talley (right), who died Tuesday at age 73. (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

“Dear André,” she began, “words cannot describe what it feels like knowing you are no longer with us in the physical form, like everyone who loves you my heart skipped a beat.” She added that she reached out to designer Diane Von Furstenberg, who told her that Talley “went peacefully without pain.” 

There is “so much to say but can’t say all,” she wrote, reflecting on some of their past experiences together, which include “flying in helicopters in Brazil and landing in a football field in a storm, to running around Moscow buying Russian dolls and typical Russian hats, to dancing around in my hotel room in Paris.”

Campbell reflected on a trip the two took to Nigeria in 2019. “Everyone said you would cancel on me last minute and I refused to believe .. and there you came to Lagos with a wheelchair and all, and you embraced everyone and everyone embraced you,” she shared. “You were animated, fun and seeing all the young Nigerian creatives sitting at your feet taking notes with admiration, to going to church on Easter Sunday in Lagos of which you said coming to Africa was like an epiphany for you .. Seeing you so happy and in your zone is how I choose to remember you.”

“Your unconditional love and support has never wavered, from encouraging me to pick up the phone and calling Anna Wintour and asking for my first American vogue cover September issue,” she added, “to giving me the confidence to learn the Michael Jackson dance for our super bowl sobe commercial .. to just sitting in bed ordering room service watching tv, you were Andre a ray of light filled with laughter and positivity that played a huge impact of our ever lasting family ship.”

She concluded her post, maintaining, “Andre is on his way to the otherside and will drape you all in divine larger than life luxury. I love you always. REST EASY KING.”

In a second post, Campbell wrote, “REST WITH THE HIGHEST ANDRE LEON TALLEY.” 

Tributes to the fashion giant continue to pour in on social media. On Facebook, Talley friend and TV show hostess Tamron Hall shared a photo of him with her son, Moses, writing, “Andre wanted nothing more on this day than for Moses to sit with him at Abyssinia church. For days Andre talked about what it meant to spend as much time as possible with Moses. I wish we had more years but I am grateful God gave us this. Rest well Uncle Andre.” 

Supermodel Tyra Banks, who once had Talley as a judge on her hit reality TV competition show, America’s Next Top Model, wrote a tribute to him on her Instagram page as well. “I had never experienced such a prolific person serving up a rare mix of fashion ‘fabulousness’ and real down-home southern comfort love until I met @andreltalley,” she wrote.

“Being in his presence was so magical. He made me smile, laugh and was a masterful teacher – a generous, genius historian,” Banks noted. “Scholar, colleague, effervescent spirit, legend … you are resting now, Dearest André. But your spirit, your ‘je ne sais quoi’, your VOICE – your laugh, your screams of effervescent, delightful joy … I hear it now. And will forever. We all will.”

Have you subscribed to the Grio podcasts “Dear Culture” or “Acting Up?” Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio today!