During the past 13 cycles of Americas Next Top Model, the shows had quite the impressive array of judges. Now its time to add Andr Leon Talley, editor-at-large of American Vogue, to the list. Before the show became a household name, Tyra Banks pitched the idea to Talley over lunch and asked him to join. Talley declined.
At that point, I said no because it was the beginning. I was thinking I wanted to see where it goes, he said.
With the 14th season about to start, Talley has agreed to join the judging panel for three cycles. What made him change his mind?
I felt maybe I could contribute something to it that had not been on the show. I just felt that it was a way to step out of the box and associate myself with a very important American success story, a very important brand Tyra Banks, he said. Talley and Banks were first introduced backstage during a Yves Saint Laurent show; Banks was just 16 years old.
Although Talley had never seen an episode of the show, he wasnt reluctant to take on the responsibility. Fortunately, Anna Wintour didnt seem to mind Talleys new gig either.
When asked for a comment, her spokesman told WWD, Andr is always onto new things on television, and I think his latest adventure sounds like a lot of fun and I look forward to watching him on the program.
With his custom-made Chado Ralph Rucci cloaks, Talley is dead-set on bringing high-fashion to the masses. Feeling the pressure to step up her game, Banks decided to give her wardrobe a makeover in the opposite direction. She told WWD, this is the most clean you will ever see me in the history of Top Model. I am wearing a chignon every single day. I went back to Yves Saint Laurent 1991, honey. I said, This is Andr Leon Talley! No earrings, no nothing.’
Talley will take the place of J. Alexander, who will continue to act as a runway coach. In addition to Talley, the judging panel will include veteran Nigel Barker and guest judges like Whitney Port and Rachel Roy.
Cycle 14 of Americas Next Top Model premieres March 10th on The CW.
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