The greatest icon of style and fashion, André Leon Talley died a year ago on January 22, 2022. Given that Talley had no heirs, many have wondered what would become of his vast collection of artifacts representing luxury and unique style spanning across the 20th and 21st centuries. That question has finally been answered when it was reported that his wishes were to sell everything and split the proceeds between the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham.
Exactly what that means will be on view this week as Christie’s unveils “The Collection of André Leon Talley,” a 448-lot auction that will begin a three-city tour, which started on January 18th in Palm Beach, Florida, and continues on to Paris (during Couture) and New York (during Fashion Week) and culminates in a live auction of 68 lots on February 15th during Black History month (the rest of the sale will open online starting Jan. 27).
According to The New York Times reporting on the auction, "Christie’s has put a current low estimate on the sale of $702,200. Historically, however, personal estate auctions often far exceed the estimates because of the unquantifiable emotional dimensions involved." The auction catalog includes an essay by Whoopi Goldberg.
In life, Talley was a large and commanding presence, in addition to perhaps being one of the most educated students of style and fashion. Now, in death, his love for all things fashionable, from deep beyond the chiffon trenches, will reap immense benefit for the institutions that fed his spirit and kept him full, even when his industry continually diminished his presence and his contributions.
You can pick up New York Times best-seller, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir: André Leon Talley in store, at ARTE NOIR.