Andre Leon Talley is an icon in the fashion world. The American journalist is the former creative director and editor-at-large of Vogue magazine. With his astounding credentials, its surprising to think he’d have an financial issues.
Since 2004, Talley has called an 11 bedroom white colonial estate in White Plains his home. The property was initially purchased by the former head of Manolo Blahnik USA, George Malkemus and his business partner and husband Anthony Yurgaitis for $1 million dollars.
The trio had a “gentleman’s agreement”, where Malkemus and Yurgaitis agreed to purchase the home on “Talley’s behalf” according a recent lawsuit filed. Talley put down a $120,000 deposit towards the property.
The understanding was that Talley would live in the home and pay rent to the couple every month. They signed a 2 year lease with the options to renew for up to 8 years afterwards.
The lease was finally up in 2014, after which time Talley began to pay varied amounts of “rent” every month.
Discrepancies in payments began to add up and in November of last year Mr. Malkemus & Mr. Yurgaitis decided it was time to evict Mr. Talley.
According to the New York Times, Talley’s countersuit claims his payments were supposed to be going towards the equity of the home, essentially thinking he was paying off the house to become the eventual owner.
Since occupying the home, Mr. Talley has paid over $900k, and is requesting the house be placed in a trust so that he can provide proof for ownership.
Malkemus and Yurgaitis say Talley owes them $515,872.96 and that they are still the rightful owners of the home.
Talley, 72, is now facing eviction. Fans of the fashion mainstay have lobbied behind him to help him raise some money to pay off the debt and be able to stay in his home.
In a GoFundMe campaign created in his honor by someone named Akeem Smith, they are requesting that supporters help Talley raise $500k to keep his home. So far they are at $3600.
On the fundraiser page Smith states “A miscommunication has taken place between Andre and his friends and landlords. It’s put Andre in a situation in which he is potentially going to be evicted from the home he’s lived in since 2004.”
He passionately continued, “EVERYONE IN FASHION HAS BENEFITED FROM ANDRE LEON TALLEY’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE INDUSTRY. ANDRE HAS NOT ASKED ME TO DO THIS, BUT I FEEL THE RIGHT TO DO SO. I BELIEVE WE ALL SHOULD SUPPORT HIM NOW TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIS LIFETIME’S WORK AND THE ROOM HIS FEARLESSNESS MADE FOR SO MANY OF THE VOICES AND POINTS OF VIEW THAT HAVE FOLLOWED HIM.”
Talley has yet to respond.