André Leon Talley, a fashion icon and driving and driving force behind Vogue’s success, spent his last days secluded at home trying to protect himself from the coronavirus that would ultimately kill him, the has learned.

Before the pandemic, he was — at more than 300 lb. — a larger-than-life character in his adopted hometown of White Plains, New York, where he’d regularly eat out at his favorite diner while posing for photographs with customers and sharing stories about his time at Vogue. 

He also would drop flowers off for his neighbors, which is a kind gesture.

However, six months back, Barbara Galella, one those neighbours said she went to his house in the middle of the COVID-19 epidemic. She wanted to exchange a book with Ron Galella her uncle, who is a well-known paparazzi photographer. Talley stopped by her door, she said.

Galella said that he was cautious about COVID. Galella stated that the mask was on his face and he said, “leave it on the porch.” I agreed.

She added, “That’s why he passed that way,”

André Leon Talley had been living in the New York City suburb of White Plains at the time of his death on Tuesday

André Leon Talley had been living in the New York City suburb of White Plains at the time of his death on Tuesday 

He was taken on by Conde Nast exec Anna Wintour at American Vogue in 1983 and was appointed its creative director in 1988. The two had a close friendship before falling out three years ago

Anna Wintour of American Vogue took him on in 1983. In 1988, she appointed him its creative director. They were close friends before they parted ways three years ago. 

Talley had lived in solitude in this 11-room colonial home in White Plains, New York, north of Manhattan

Talley was a lonely man who lived in an 11-room colonial in White Plains New York north of Manhattan.

Vogue reported that Talley, who had suffered a cardiac attack and died at a White Plains hospital on Tuesday. 

The Houston Chronicle learned that Dr. Yvonne Cormier was the friend and fashion icon of Texas for 45 years. He died from complications caused by coronavirus. 

He also suffered from underlying issues due to his weight, according to her.

Vogue’s former editor-at Large had lived since 2004 in a colonial 11-room home in the New York City suburb. On the porch, you could see a small bottle of hand-sanitizer even after his death.

He had been involved in a legal fight with George Malkemus the former CEO of Manoloblahnik, who accused him in court of rent arrears of $500,000 

But he successfully fought off eviction and was allowed to remain there after reaching a settlement in November — just two months before his death — his lawyer told Wednesday.

Galella was afraid for her life when paramedics pulled up at Talley’s home earlier in the week. The second time that emergency personnel stopped at Talley’s house in three weeks was this.

“Three weeks back, I was just sitting there, and I noticed an EMS vehicle and the police coming in. I then saw another car come and they all went in,” she stated. 

The fashion icon had been embroiled in an eviction lawsuit after the homeowners claimed Talley had owed them more than $515,000

Following the homeowner’s claim that Talley owed more than $515,000 to them, Talley became embroiled in an expulsion lawsuit.

He'd been engaged in a messy legal battle with the homeowner George Malkemus, the ex-CEO of Manolo Blahnik who accused him of owing $500,000 in rent

He had been involved in a legal fight with George Malkemus the former CEO of Manoloblahnik, who claimed he owed $500,000 rent.

“I asked him if he’d had a heart attack.” Then I looked through the newspaper to find anything, but didn’t find anything.

“Then, just a few days ago, saw EMS. The police show up again,” she said.

“And, I said that I have a feeling it may have been because that was twice.”

Galella shared her sorrow and memories with a neighbour she considered to be remarkably kind. 

Talley, she said that she had met her family six-years ago. She told Talley they lived just down from each other.

Talley explained to her how he remembered the previous owner of her house and how beautiful her grounds looked. Talley then delivered flowers by hand a few days later.

Galella said that Galella pulled up to his driver, and delivered seven bouquets of flowers.

Galella and Talley met at City Limits Diner where he was an avid customer. He would dine at the City Limits Diner as often as three times per day for the last 27 years, until the outbreak of the coronavirus. 

Talley lived alone sleeping on a bed late designer and friend Oscar de la Renta gave him (pictured together in 1990)

Talley was alone and slept on a bed Oscar de la Renta had given him. (pictured in 1990).

Talley would walk into the restaurant, leaving his driver at the door. 

His favorite dishes were the turkey chili and soy chili glaze salmon. He would often arrive in an elegant, loose-fitting muumuu, and would then order several meals.

Landlord George Malkemus settled his lawsuit with Talley over unpaid rent in November and allowed him to stay in his longtime home

Talley won his case against George Malkemus, the Landlord George Malkemus. He settled in November over unpaid rent and was allowed to remain in his home.

Tony Aliaj the general manager, said that he thought Talley was bigger than life as he sat at the table Talley would occupy. “You could not miss him that’s certain.”

“He loved our Tahitian vanilla bean cheesecake. He said that the food was delicious and he could eat more.

Talley told him how he would eat his food while conversing with his customers and staff members about Vogue.

Aliaj stated that he would come in alone. Customers would approach him, and he’d tell them stories about Vogue or the fashion industry. He would smile and embrace the opportunity to pose with other people.

Manager continued, “He was very different from anything you might expect in the fashion industry.” “He was just a regular guy.”

The former editor-at-large of Vogue, who left the fashion world in 2014, was a regular at the City Limits Diner, where he would dine as many as three times a day over the past 27 years until the coronavirus pandemic hit, can reveal can tell you that Vogue’s former editor at-large was once a frequent visitor to the City Limits Diner. His habitual dining habits were as high as three per day until the 2014 coronavirus pandemic. 

Soy chili salmon

Turkey chili

Talley loved to order several dishes off the menu. His favorites were the turkey chili and the soy chili-glazed salmon.

The diner's Tahitian vanilla bean cheesecake (pictured) was among Talley's favorite menu items

Talley loved the Tahitian vanilla bean Cheesecake from this diner (pictured).

Talley is a well-known and prominent figure within the fashion industry. He has spoken out candidly about his struggles with weight and relationship to food.

When asked if fashion and food go together, he replied to the Associated Press, 2003, “Food isn’t important in fashion, where you are supposed look like an asparagus.”

“It’s all about butter pound cakes, fried chicken, potato salad, hot biscuits… It’s hard for me to get away from those things just so I can have a lettuce sandwich.”

Aliaj reported that Talley didn’t seem to be in financial trouble despite his reports.

He said, “From what it looked, he was doing well.” He did not appear to be in distress. It seemed like he was living an easy life.

We will miss him. He was so kind and generous with everyone. He also shared great tips with our employees, which was a bonus.

Aliaj stated that Talley quit going to the diner in the early 2020s when the pandemic gripped.

Talley would often scarf down his meal while chatting amiably with staff and customers about his time at Vogue, general manager Tony Aliaj said

Tony Aliaj, the general manager of Vogue, stated that Talley often ate his meals while talking amiably to staff members and customers about Vogue’s time. 

After securing a position as a journalist at Women’s Wear Daily, the 28-year-old pioneering journalist started his career in fashion journalism.

General manager Tony Aliaj - seen sitting at the booth Talley would occupy - described the late fashion icon as a 'larger than life figure'

Tony Aliaj, general manager of the company, was seen sitting in the spot Talley would take. He described Talley as an icon for fashion and described him as a “larger than life” figure.

Anna Wintour of Conde Nast, American Vogue’s executive in 1983, offered him a job and in 1988 he was made its creative director. 

Talley had previously spoken out about his struggle with weight in his 2014 retirement from editing and the role it played in his conflict with Wintour in 2020, his former friend and boss. 

Their long-standing friendship was cut short by Wintour’s announcement three years back. Talley said that Wintour had froze Talley for being too old, overweight and uncool.

According to the creative director, he opened up about his weight problems that he had suffered from since 1989 when he lost a friend and his grandmother.

Talley moved to North Carolina in the middle of his fashion career. There he bought a house for his grandmother. After her passing, he grieved by overeating barbecue.

Talley gained weight when he was appointed editor-at-large at Vogue. Wintour couldn’t ignore this and advised him to “go to the gym.”

A personal trainer was hired and he tried the cabbage diet, which is a simple way to eat only cooked cabbage. It didn’t work.

André Leon Talley with Marina Schiano in 1980

André Leon Talley with Naomi Campbell in 1991

Talley was open about his struggles with his weight – which turned into a lifelong battle following the death of his grandmother in 1989. He is pictured cutting a slimmer figure with Marina Schiano left in 1980 and supermodel Naomi Campbell in 1991 (right)

Diana Ross and André Leon Talley dancing at Studio 54 in New York City around 1979

Diana Ross and André Leon Talley dancing at Studio 54 in New York City around 1979

Wintour staged an intervention with Talley’s pastor, designer Oscar de la Renta, and his spouse. These were Talley’s close friends. 

Wintour stated that Talley was overweight and sent to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Talley shed 55lbs, but then he gained it back and returned three times to the center for a “yo-yo fight I long ago realized that I would never win,” he said in his memoir.

Talley’s memoir revealed that he believed his love for fashionista friends would endure forever. But they dropped him because he wasn’t useful anymore.

He stated that he is still dealing with the emotional scars of a decades-long friendship with the editor, who was notoriously harsh.

Wintour released a statement shortly after her husband’s death, stating that their loss was “immeasurable” and that they would miss each other despite their “complicated history”. 

Talley was involved in an eviction suit involving his White Plains home. He had just died and was living on the bed Oscar de la Renta gifted him. He was allowed to remain there after the dispute was settled.

Talley is pictured with designers Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger

Talley is seen with Tommy Hilfiger (designers Karl Lagerfeld)

Talley and Kristen McMenamy attend New York City fashion week in the mid 1990s

Talley McMenamy, Kristen McMenamy at New York City’s Fashion Week in mid-1990s

George Malkemus, former head of Manolo Blahnik USA George Malkemus, and Anthony Yurgaitis his wife and business partner bought the home for $1million in 2004, with the agreement that Talley would reside in the property and make them money every month.

However, according to New York Times the lease ended in 2014, and was never renewed. Yurgaitis, Malkemus, and Yurgaitis claimed Talley owed more than $515,000.

Talley submitted a counterclaim on January 20, 21 claiming that the payments were an equity investment meant to give him ownership. He requested the house be put in a trust in order to show his rights to the property.