, 2022-12-10 15:00:00,
For those who knew André, he anointed people by showing up for them, no matter what. He not only pushed you to be the best version of yourself, he also taught you how to do it.
For many of us starting off in the fashion industry in the 80s, André was often our voice when we felt like we didn’t have one. As an editor and then creative director at US Vogue, he’d ask our questions and advocate on our behalf until we learned how to do so for ourselves. If we were down, he would extend a helping hand. If we couldn’t get through a door, he’d push it open for us.
His belief that the world was for the taking was contagious and it propelled us beyond our boundaries. It was André who encouraged me to pick up the phone and call Anna Wintour and ask for my first American Vogue September issue cover. It was in September 1989.
When I started the Fashion for Relief charity in 2005 it was to raise money to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and I had to organise a catwalk show in the span of a week. André stood right by my side throughout the whole process. When faced with an obstacle, he would say: “I know it’s seven days, Omi, but it can be done.” He was right – and the charity is going strong 17 years later.
André’s influence wasn’t just within the fashion industry. It spread worldwide to include film, music, arts and culture.
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