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Whoopi Goldberg and André Leon Talley have been friends for decades. And after the fashion icon’s tragic death, The View host commemorated his life and their connection.

André Leon Talley was a force in the fashion industry

Whoopi Goldberg and Andre Leon Talley holding hands
Whoopi Goldberg and Andre Leon Talley holding hands | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for IMG

Talley was a fashion journalist who became Vogue’s first Black creative director in 1988 and then served as the magazine’s editor-at-large until 2013. He authored several books and styled numerous American icons, including President Barack Obama and First Lady Melania Trump. 

As reported by Vogue, Talley died on the night of Jan. 18 in New York. “The loss of André is felt by so many of us today,” wrote his longtime friend, and Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. “No one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him.”

Whoopi Goldberg and André Leon Talley have been friends for years

Goldberg is known for her unique sense of style. And it is something she says she grew more comfortable with because of her friendship with Talley. 

“Andre made sure, during the course of our friendship…because you know I used to get beat up for my choice of things to wear…because I always liked interesting stuff. But Andre said, ‘As long as you walk with your head up, you’re fine.’” Goldberg said at a 2017 fashion event covered by Lifeminute. “And that for me has always kind of gotten me through.”

When asked about Goldberg’s fashion choices, Talley, also in attendance, commented on their longtime friendship. And he suggested she’s the only one who needs to be happy with her style. 

“We go way back,” Talley said. “And she’s always appropriately dressed for who she is, and she should feel good in her clothes.”

Whoopi Goldberg remembers her friend on ‘The View’

After learning of Talley’s death, Goldberg shared a sweet message on Twitter. “Just in time for the front line at fashion week in Heaven, Mrs. Vreeland, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld ..and now Andre Leon Talley,’ she wrote. “R.I.P. Unforgettable in every way….”

On The View, the panel of hosts, including Goldberg, Anna Navarro, Sunny Hostin, and Joy Behar, commemorated Talley and his contributions to fashion. They talked about his career and his progressive stance on inclusion and diversity. And remembering her good friend, Goldberg noted he was one of a kind.


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“There was no one like him,” Goldberg said. “There was no one like Andre — I’ve had the greatest adventures with him. We stayed at my house quite a bit, going back and forth, and he’s the reason I ended up doing fashion stuff.”

“There was no greater advocate for women than Andre Leon Talley,” she added. “And this is a friendship, that I couldn’t figure out what it meant — [There was] no one more erudite.”