On Friday, many entertainers and fashion industry luminaries poured into the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem to celebrate the legacy of the legendary fashion icon Andre Leon Talley.
Naomi Campbell, Gayle King, Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs were among the celebrities in attendance to pay honor to Talley's all-encompassing impact on the world of fashion.
The sanctuary of the church was decorated elegantly befitting Talley’s incredible sense of style.
The Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, who was Talley’s pastor, said that he kept his illness a private matter
.“His transition was between him and God,” Butts said.
Legendary fashion model Naomi Campbell, pulled up to the church in, an all-white, vintage Rolls-Royce with a white dress hidden under a white furry coat, topping off the ensemble with a gold chain with the letter “A,” a tribute to Talley.
Campbell recalled one of the last times she saw Talley was in Lagos, Nigeria where they attended a fashion show charity event for Fashion for Relief, the nonprofit organization she founded. She visited him in his hotel where he was confined to a wheelchair but was still in high fashion donning a regal cape.
Last weekend, Campbell and Diane von Furstenberg were among those who took his remains to his home state North Carolina.
Although Talley was a world-renowned figure in the fashion world, he always returned to his southern roots said Brian Nunn, his second cousin.
“He wanted a lot and he gave a lot,” Nunn recalled. His larger-than-life cousin would call him in the wee hours and ask him personal questions, such as: “When are you getting married? Do you have any baby mamas?”
At the end of the service, von Furstenberg read a letter she wrote to Talley, that perfectly captured his impact on the fashion world and his sincerity as a human being.
“We fought sometimes,” she said. “You were not always easy,” she continued.
But with his “large reassuring hands,” his “even bigger heart” and his “capacity for love,” he was, one of the most “extraordinary people” she ever met.
“Rest in peace A.L.T. Always loyal and always tall.”