André Leon Talley, the author and journalist who was part of the vanguard of fashion over the last few decades, has died at 73, the New York Times reports.

Talley was raised in segregation-era North Carolina and educated at North Carolina Central University and Brown University. He launched his career in journalism in the 1970s with jobs at Interview, Women’s Wear Daily, and W magazines.

In 1983, he joined the staff of Vogue, where he would work for 30 years. He was the magazine’s first Black creative director, and worked as its editor-at-large until 2013.

Talley wrote two memoirs: A.L.T., published in 2013, and The Chiffon Trenches, published in 2020. A critic for Kirkus called the latter book “a heartfelt and often eyebrow-raising memoir perfect for armchair fashionistas or high-fashion insiders.”

Talley’s admirers paid tribute to him on social media. “Fashion’s elegant giant has fallen,” wrote Mariah Carey. “Emancipated from the troubles of this world. Land softly and safely my friend into the loving arms of Almighty God. Rest in Power and Grace, Andre Leon Talley.”

And Michelle Obama tweeted, “André Leon Talley was a one-of-a-kind presence who changed the face of fashion and beauty for a generation of girls just like me. He will be missed, but I know his legacy will continue inspiring people for years to come.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.