Beautifully Complicated

How very André of us all to get on with it,
no matter what life throws at us.

If larger-than-life were a person, it would be the incomparable André Leon Talley. We lost the towering fashion icon on January 18, and the void he leaves is as grand as he was. A walking fashion wikipedia, he had the most fascinating stories that often seemed like they were pulled from our wildest fashion dreams. But he actually lived those iconic moments. He was at the center of so many fashion movements and is responsible for blazing a path for so many of us to follow.  

His impact on global fashion and culture is undeniable, but it’s the beautifully complicated man that his friends and family got to enjoy off camera and away from the bright lights who I will miss the most. As his manager and publicist, André and I became dear friends over the years and I’ll always remember the wicked giggles we shared, the wry side eye he often gave me, the “Aba, girl, call me back!” messages he’d leave for me. I’d of course call back, and I’d be cooking dinner while talking to him about so many things, grand and small. I’ll remember André fawning over my children, who couldn’t believe they had access to such an iconic uncle. Oh what I would give for a lifetime more of him and those unguarded, shared moments. But I know my friend is free now, from the pain, from the pressures of The Chiffon Trenches.  

A friend said to me the morning after, as I was still processing the news, “Get up and do something very André today while you’re feeling so heartbroken.” So I got up and got dressed, put on a bold lip and a smile, and pushed through the day with grace. How very André of me! How very André of us all to get on with it, no matter what life throws at us. Get on with it in grand style.

Getting on with it includes putting out this first issue of 2022. As always, we’ve put together a collection of people we feel inspired by across fashion and food and culture—and give you a glimpse into their worlds. We chat with Anifa Mvuemba, a fashion designer who is setting the stage for the digital future of fashion. We talk to KJ Hughes, the serial entrepreneur who has put his faith in the return of in-person gatherings with his latest venture, MANIFEST. We also sit down with Derek Brown, a famed mixologist who is revisiting drinking culture and putting his own spin on Dry January. Finally, we celebrate Pantone’s Color of the Year, Very Peri, with a gallery of some of our favorite fashion and design moments of the year so far. Pantone created a color for its annual selection for the first time in its history because these uncharted times call for something new and never before seen.

We couldn’t agree more. This year is all about creating your own path and finding beauty in this strange, weird world. 

My best,

Aba Kwawu

President, TAA PR

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