Andre Leon Talley: ‘I don’t want Trump to fail & I don’t want Melania Trump to fail’


Andre Leon Talley is still considered one of America’s most important style arbiters. Even though he’s no longer Anna Wintour’s right-hand man, he’s still very involved in fashion and everything around fashion. So it’s no surprise that Maureen Dowd was tasked with interviewing Talley about the incoming Trump administration, and the ongoing debate about Melania Trump and what kind of access she will and she should have to designers. The “what will Melania wear?” story seems to have legs, as so many designers have come out to declare whether or not they would dress her. The PEOTUS also met with Anna Wintour at Trump Tower, so I do think there will be some softening from the official fashion world. As for Talley says about Melania… it’s complicated, but he seems to like her. You can read Dowd’s full interview here (it’s worth a read). Some highlights:

He’s not part of Trumpland: “You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland. I’ve made my choice not to be part of Trumpland.”

Why Anna Wintour met with Trump: “As for Anna Wintour going to Mr. Trump, she’s a powerful woman, she’s running an empire, she’s the editorial director of Condé Nast. We can’t judge her for going to a meeting. She’s a professional, powerful woman. That’s all I have to say.”

Why he was positive about Melania initally: “She’s a nice person. I do not endorse Trumpism on any level. So why can’t one be positive and want her to shine? I mean, it’s good she cares about napkins, crystal, dinner plates with gilded edges to the point of over the top, and abundant flower arrangements. In the end, why pick on her when they should be picking on her husband’s billionaire cabinet and his seeming readiness to turn the country back towards oppression, anti-Semitism, anti-culturalism, etc. I’m not a big person in the world. I’m maybe a big figure in the fashion world. I mean, sort of iconic. But I don’t want to get phone calls in the middle of the night, telling me I’ve gone over to Trumpland and I’m going to Darth Vader because I said nice things about Melania. I voted for Hillary Clinton. I registered in North Carolina because it mattered. I went through hoops of fire to get my absentee ballot. And, quite frankly, I thought she would have brought back the pantsuit. I thought the gray trouser suit designed by Ralph Lauren she wore with the purple satin shell and the lapels matching the blouse was brilliant. The elegant anthracite gray dry wool actually was slimming.”

Melania’s Election Night look: “Melania, who opted at 3 a.m. for a palazzo jumpsuit, with one arm exposed and a flounce over the other — it seemed to me too Mar-a-Lago, a huge, full-volume jumpsuit. Trying too hard. And I am so tired of the long hair falling on both sides of her face. She has to upgrade her coiffure.”

The change in Donald Trump: “He became the master of darkness, the master of the dark empire, as he became more powerful, as he started with birtherism and in the campaign. Birtherism is terrible. It was a terrible thing he did to Obama. And he never let go. ‘Make America great again.’ A lot of people think that means make America white again… People are really afraid of these dark, dark institutions of bigotry and anti-Semitism that have come out from under the rocks like creepy snakes and come up to rear their heads up like cobras. People seem to have put all their egregious things on the back burner. Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech. Let’s just wait and see what happens on Jan. 20. I don’t want Trump to fail, and I don’t want Melania Trump to fail. But I’m not going to sit here and say any more positive things, because I’d get crucified from personal friends.”

Whether the Trumps deserve respect: “Did the Congress ever treat Obama as a president? Did they plot in a restaurant the night he was inaugurated to filibuster everything for eight years? This country has elected a president who is on audiotape saying I’m a star and I can do whatever I want with women, grab them in the vagina. Dignity has gone out the door. He’s causing me much ire. He just said, ‘My cabinet has the highest I.Q.’ His cabinet of mostly white men. That’s a dog whistle.”

[From The NY Times]

There’s a ton of other stuff, but you get the idea. Basically, Talley is trying to be nice and positive but he sees the Trumps for what they are. He believes Melania is truly private and concerned about Barron first and foremost. He believes that Melania will be glamorous but uneventful fashion-wise, and that no one should forget that her husband is a deranged lunatic.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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66 Responses to “Andre Leon Talley: ‘I don’t want Trump to fail & I don’t want Melania Trump to fail’”

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  1. minx says:

    “It’s good she cares about napkins, crystal, dinner plates with gilded edges.”
    As did Marie Antoinette, no doubt. Let people lose their rights, healthcare, social security…but Melania’s tableware will look fabulous!

    • Alix says:

      Can we please stop dragging Marie Antoinette’s name through the mud?

    • K says:

      To be fair to Andre those things are a part of his world and business and he has to keep people who like Melania make their lives about those things happy and feeling special so they spend. He also called her the perfect stepford wife if you read the entire piece so I think he is trying to find a balance of she is what she is but it’s not bad to be into this stuff because 1. it’s not (shouldn’t be all you care about) and 2. He needs those people to still follow him.

    • Pandy says:

      I read that quote as a total shade on Melania! She’s just “fluff” and her taste is gilded and over the top. In home design and clothing. Way to shade Andre!

  2. Shambles says:

    I was ready to be pissed about this, but I actually like what he has to say.
    He’s giving Melania a pass because he thinks she’s simple. Alright, whatever.
    But he’s spot on about Trump, the emperor of darkness.

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:


    • SusanneToo says:

      I agree that the headline doesn’t really reflect his very astute remarks. It’s a good interview.

      I, however, do want all of the trumps to fail. I want them to take first place as the worst administration in history. I want them to suffer canker sores and hemorrhoids, plantar warts and acne. And may all of the spawn inherit donald’s hair. Except Tiffany-she gets a pass.

      • NastyWoman` says:

        LOL. I didn’t want to laugh, but I cackled. Thanks for the laugh.

      • Kitten says:

        Ha ha….I also want them to fail.

      • Annetommy says:

        And the ten year old gets a pass. But the rest of them…the biblical plagues of Egypt…

      • evilqueen says:

        I want them to fail so hard they’ll get tired of failing. They’ll be failing all the time. Biggly

      • K says:

        I know you’ll get your wish Susan, it’s not even a wish for me it is I know it’s going to happen and I’m like good luck Iowa, plus a bit screw you (which isn’t my finest self). I give Barron a bit of a pass although not much considering how much he costs me for not moving. But then I remind myself he is 10 and his parents should be the adults that tell him he has to and it will be fine.

        I mean if you do read this he basically says listen America she is a statue be nice to her and look at how well she stands in her amazing 4 1/2 inch heels but her husband is evil and we should pay attention to what he is doing and who is around him and let our voices be heard on that.

        Melania not worth our time it’s like getting upset about papier-mâché.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Wish I’d seen this thread sooner. I’ll add my petty prayers to your own. I wish them paper cuts, hang nails and hard boils. May their peas always be hard. Their food always undercooked or overcooked. I wish them urinary tract infections and ingrown hairs and nail fungus. I want Ivanka to step on ALL the legos. I wish for Trump and his a-hole sons, impotence. Amen.

      • Carol says:

        I loved the reporter who, when castigated for saying he wanted trump to fail, walked through all the policies trump has supported: Muslim registry, deportations, stop & frisk, end health care, scary foreign policy attitudes, etc. Of course we need him to fail when successful means the implementation of those policies!

      • Rico Shew says:

        Be careful about what you wish for. A lot of people are going to have to suffer in order for this administration to be considered a failure. I hope he becomes the greatest president America has ever had.

      • vava says:

        I’d like to see him fail big time. And the way I want him to fail is for a revolution to rise up and reclaim this country and oust this asshole.

      • my3cents says:

        I want him to fail badly as well, I’m just afraid of what he’s going to do this country, environment and people before he’s done. A lot of suffering before we’ll be rid of him.
        Can he still fail without hurting anyone?

    • NastyWoman` says:

      Yeah, the description doesn’t do what he actually said justice. He was very thoughtful.

    • Redgrl says:

      Agree and the headline is unfortunately misleading.

    • SM says:

      Me too. Seeing the headline I thought I will have a chance to yell, but he is right, we should not get our eyes of the ball, the real problem is Trump. She is as he says someone who is concerned with nappkins and botox, she is not the threat to the free world

  3. Talie says:

    I’m with him on this. I get trying to look on the brightside, but he said too much jacked up mess to forget it all, right?! We’d all have to be in some kind of mass delusion to forget this crazy election.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      Nah, not normalizing anything that Orange Anal Wart has said and continues to say. I remind everyone I know every day. Whenever someone I know says “we have to give him a chance,” I say “No. Because he didn’t give my people (from Latin America) a chance. Since we’re all rapists and murderers, he will forever be a sexual assaulter, racist and sexist pig.”

      • Saras says:

        Yes! He is allowed to be openly biggotted but we have to be nice and encourage him. #@%$ that! 3 million of us plus more will be out here fighting for keeping equal rights and safe access! The orange maniac is talking nukes during the holidays!?! Wtf. Who does that? TRUMP that’s who. “Walking in a nuclear winter wonderland”…

      • Tanya says:

        Orange Anal Wart.

        I like you.

      • LoveIsBlynd says:

        His campaign strategist was Brannon from the white supremacy propaganda tool called brietbart. From the beginning trump was speaking the language of xenophobia that favors the white male. There is no “giving him a chance”. Plus the economy doubled after Obama’s 8 year administration. and now the new administration will run with that and up the ante by cutting all public funding. If all funding owed to working people is cut- public health, public lands, public education, medicare, social security- then of course our economy will grow exponentially. At what price to we want a robust economy that favors only the 1% of the wealthiest? I want him to fail and get prosecuted for treason and tyranny. I want him to fail OF COURSE so we go back to slow steady growth THAT ALSO supports civil rights, worker’s rights, health care, education and the environment.

  4. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    Ehh. there is a part of me that sees what he is saying and agrees and then there is a part of me that goes, “burn them all”.The racists and their enablers went after Obama and his family for 8 years, so we should go after Dump’s family-except Barron and the grand kids, just the adults. She and Trump’s parasite kids sit by and support that trash bag. They smile and laugh and benefit from the lunacy that he brings into the world, not one of them are victims, not one of them.

    Andre should not be harangued for having better manners than the Trumps, though. He is clearly on the right side and went out of his way to prove it.

  5. Rapunzel says:

    Melania won’t fail… she’d have to actually do something first.

    As for the Trumps– I want this a–hole and his family to be so bad every one of his supporters turns on him. The problem is I can’t see how that can happen without hurting innocent folks. So I am torn.

  6. poppy says:

    ❤️ me some andre

  7. Luffy says:

    I don’t think people who want trump to fail understand what that really means. America isn’t immortal. We’re facing a lot of problems right now (ridiculous debt, crumbling infrastructure, shrinking middle class, increasing cost of college causing a large amount of student debt, etc…) privilege will only protect you so much. We need a strong and capable leader and I truly hope that trump can be that because If he fails we are all going to feel it.

    • IlsaLund says:

      Then why wasn’t an effort made to work WITH President Obama these past eight years. Our country would be much further along in recovery from the Great Recession if Republicans had worked with and not against Obama. So now, we’re all supposed to forgive and forget, join hands and kumbaya with a corporate fascist regime hell bent on destroying us. I’ll pass and I hope Trump and his whole administration fails…..we’re screwed either way.

      • Jayna says:


      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I think it’s more like a wish for a selective failure that would wipe out Trump and his ism without bringing the country down and unfortunately as you so rightly point out, our fate is now intertwined with his.

      • Kitten says:



      • Kiki says:

        That’s because THE REPUBLICANS in congress are racist bigots, that think black people should know their place. That’s why they don’t want to work with Obama and these REPUBLICANS will kiss the Orange Anal Sore’s Ass for next 4 years.

        I have no faith in America and or their policies. Donald Trump will destroy USA and will make America Worst Again. PREPARE FOR A GREAT DEPRESSION AMERICA AND WW3.

      • Rico Shew says:

        Obama was already doing a pretty good job of driving America towards world war 3 and Clinton was going to continue with it. For all his faults Trump is less likely to start a war with Russia than Clinton was. Instead of mocking Trump for his friendliness towards Putin he should be getting praised for it.

      • Bridget says:

        Ummm, do you even know what’s been going on in Russia? Lets just say that Trump choosing to placate Putin isn’t going to be a good thing. And what about Trump’s openly provoking China? Actively suggesting that we start a nuclear arms race? Are you really trying to say that Trump is LESS likely to start WW3?

      • Kori says:

        I’ve got leftist friends who hated Hillary and thought the same with her regarding another world war. I just had to give up on reading their posts on Facebook. It’s the ‘she’s the same/worse’ thinking that led to enough people staying home/ voting third party in a few key states that tipped it.

    • Carol says:

      @luffy I agree. I can’t stand Trump and am not ready to call him President. But I do hope he doesn’t fail because this country has too many issues it has to face. But I get why peeps want him to fail.

      • jwoolman says:

        He has to fail in implementing his horrible agenda. His failure in such atrocious policies would be a success for the rest of us. You wouldn’t wish success for a rapist or a bank robber, would you? Some activities should never succeed.

        Really, it’s ok to wish that someone will fail at causing great harm. If he wants to try his hand at some helpful things, then we can wish him success. But so far he just wants to trash and destroy everything like a two-year-old, refusing to listen to the adults saying “No, Donnie, please don’t set fire to the house!”.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Here’s what I want: trump’s plan to destroy environmental protections-FAIL; to undermine civil/human rights for all-FAIL; to deprive citizens of healthcare-FAIL; to loosen workers’ safety protections-FAIL; to destroy public schools-FAIL; enacting tax policies favoring the 1%-FAIL. And that’s not even mentioning his dangerous foreign policies. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

      • K says:

        I want his plan to
        repeal Obamacare to FAIL,
        i want his plan with the EPA to FAIL,
        I want his plans of Law and Order to FAIL,
        I want his regulation roll back to FAIL,
        I want his immigration plan to FAIL
        I want his plans to limit freedom of the press to FAIL

        I don’t want his plans to even make it out the door much less be implemented to do damage.

        If he can get the republicans to finally do infrastructure which they refused every time Obama proposed it then I am 100% behind it and want it to succeed because the country needs it.

        If he can get more manufacturing jobs (although we are currently at A NINE YEAR HIGH) then great for the mid west. I support this as long as he doesn’t roll back worker rights regulations.

        His proposals will do a lot of damage so yes I want them to FAIL before they can even start but if he has a sane idea that would help yeah let’s do it.

      • MFM008 says:

        They are FAILS to start with.
        I want them to FAIL and so do around 65 million people.

    • jwoolman says:

      luffy – Trump is 70 years old. He is not going to change now. He is not strong, he is a marshmallow who goes along with the last person he chatted with and changes his mind faster than New England weather. He is also not capable. He’s run businesses into the ground by cheating people, saying he will do one thing and then doing the opposite, bankrupting other investors after he has successfully made off with his cut, not paying his contractors what he owes, exporting production and importing workers to be able to pay low wages. He is still afloat only because his father gave him a lot of money over the years. American banks won’t even give him a free calendar anymore, much less financing for his projects. If he were not born rich, he would very likely be in prison most of the time. He has a severe personality disorder (malignant narcissist) among other things, including a severe attention deficit disorder that seems untreated or undertreated. He can’t focus to learn new things but at the same time his accumulated knowledge is very limited. He lies as easily as he breathes. His ignorance of science and world politics is astounding. Now he wants us to build more nukes when we should be steadily reducing the arsenal.

      It is very unrealistic to hope that this man will miraculously become a competent President. Others will try to manipulate him, probably with varying success. But we don’t know who the real President will be. Pence isn’t very bright and seems intimidated by Trump (who doesn’t really like Pence), so it will likely be someone else. Probably Paul Ryan is angling for the job. Yes, the guy whose dream for years has been to trash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and of course the ACA.

  8. IlsaLund says:

    Andre was on point with everything he said. What ticks me off is the Trump supporters and Repubs with their now holier than thou attitude making remarks about how “hateful” Democratics and others are towards Trump. How people aren’t being fair and trying to “delegitimization” his Presidency. Oh the hypocrisy is sickening. They all conveniently forget the hate and invective hurled at the Obamas and how they did everything in their power to resist and work against Obama his entire Presidency. But we’re supposed to just forget all that while they do their best to undo Obama’s legacy cause they want to hurt him and erase the achievements of the first black President from history.

    I will resist Trumpism 4ever. #NEVERMYPRESIDENT

  9. robyn says:

    Republicans have obstructed Obama like a pack of schoolyard bullies at every turn. Republicans put party over country for decades and that’s why Russia could corrupt the election for comrade Trump and his Natasha lookalike wife. But their “success” means more of Obama’s work dismantled so how can anyone wish that?

  10. hey-ya says:

    …hes an icon…official since Kim dressed up North as him…loved it…glad hes not described as someones right hand…totally fair views from screaming or tantrums…love it…

  11. Aren says:

    “This country has elected a president who is on audiotape saying I’m a star and I can do whatever I want with women, grab them in the vagina. Dignity has gone out the door. He’s causing me much ire.”

    It’s a horrible thing not just for the USA, but for the whole world really.
    And I’m not even mentioning the nuclear arms race Trump wants to start now.

    This isn’t about not wanting him to fail, but about all the people who are going to suffer, or get killed if he succeeds.

  12. nic says:

    I want them to fail so bad they get kicked out of office. I want their initiatives to fail. I want their war on the environment to fail. I want his horrible children to fail. I want his appointed cabinet to fail to get anything done. I want them to be totally ineffective, blocked at every turn, and exposed for the horrible people they are. Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

  13. Macscore says:

    I agree with what was mentioned up-thread: the headline to this article doesn’t really reflect Talley’s thoughts and statements. I’ve never been a huge fan – always found him rather pompous – but he was articulate and on-point here, and also quite amusing. And, oh, yes, do I want Trump to fail. Step One: ignore the inauguration! Make it the least-watched “show” ever. Let’s hope all the real stars with clout can get their act together at the “We the People” concert in Miami – let’s pray it happens, and blows Trump and his pathetic circus show into outer space.

  14. oce says:

    I think everyone should live our lives as usual and watch what happens with the Trump Administration. My guess is that he will hang himself and be impeached within a couple of years, and that the Republicans will support him as long as they need him. Then they will throw him under the bus. Then we would then possibly have to deal with a Pence running the show.

    For Americans, and for all of us in society, the biggest lesson to take away from the elections is that this all comes down to money. Money is the one true god that everyone worships. Everyone wants a bigger bottom-line in their bank accounts. Including the President-Elect all the way down to the man who works in WV coal mines. Everything else comes second, including social justice. This is why you see the financial markets rallying.

    • AnneC says:

      The biggest lesson is that people need to get up off their as*es and vote. 56% of registered voters as turnout is appalling and frightening. We needed to make sure that this narcissistic know nothing fascist wasn’t elected. And now 90,000 votes in 3 states gave us this threat to American democracy and the candidate who won by 2.8 million votes lost. Apathy, low information and people willing to believe fake news could destroy health care for 25 million, make abortion illegal, take away the safeguards for dreamers and all immigrants, destroy environmental laws presently on the books and tank the economy. My only hope is that Trump and his terrible children thoroughly destroys their brand and he is impeached. He will never be my president.

  15. Soothsayer says:

    This article title is VERY VERY VERY misleading. Why do this? I was so ready to blacklist this poor guy until I read the content

  16. Weekenderbedford says:

    @ Ichooseme – you have the best list of curses ever. Paper cuts and stepping on lego beat everything.

  17. Kath says:

    I wish 4 years of anal warts and venereal disease on the entire family (except the kid).

    I hope the media finally does its effing job and digs into Trump’s business links with Russia, which are no doubt all over the tax return he refused to release.

    I hope someone also finally has the guts to release the tapes from The Apprentice which show Trump in all his racist, sexist glory (not that this would sway his deplorables one iota).

    Finally, I wish all my celebitches a happy, Trump-free Xmas and New Year. xx.

  18. maryquitecontrary says:

    Andre Leon Talley. You are a superstar with that article. You hit the high points with grace and eloquence. Here’s the only thing I’d correct: I don’t want AMERICA to fail.

    That’s all.

  19. Solan says:

    I googled this “My cabinet has the highest I.Q.” But didn’t turn anything up.

    If he said that, I think he’d mean businessmen are smarter than politicians.

  20. Luci Lu says:

    Damn! I agree with everything he said. Tell it like it really is Andre’.

  21. B. Kitty Beau says:

    The reality is that this racist country elected a racist misogynistic megalomaniac for president. The reality also is racists, both in congress and in the political arena, spent the last 8 years thinking of ways to sabotage and demean Obama. While pundits searched for ways to limit Obama’s power they now search for loopholes for the President Racist. Now that this bigot is in office nonracists and decent people are still feeling demeaned and disillusioned. Trump has already failed as a decent human, and I am fearful of what will happen to those who are like me: black, women, and middle class or otherwise not white, not rich and not a man. This country by electing this man has already failed itself. How he does as president now doesn’t matter to me. I’m doomed and can only organize at the local level and fight my heart out.