DIA hosts a conversation with award-winning designer | artists Isabel and Ruben Toledo moderated by fashionista André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue.

DIA hosts a conversation with award-winning designer | artists Isabel and Ruben Toledo moderated by fashionista André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue.

By Robere Lett | Publisher

Fashion legend André Leon Talley | Image courtesy of www.wagmagazine.com

Detroit is again on the fashion map as we will be graced with the extraordinary talents of fashion ICON’s Artist/Designer Ruben & Isabel Toledo and the one and only A.L.T aka fashionista André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue and current contributor to the magazine.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is hosting three stars of the art, design and fashion world for a conversation on May 24 at 6 p.m. at the DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre. Renowned artists and designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo will join fashion legend André Leon Talley for a discussion about artistic collaboration. The Talley-directed conversation will explore the Toledo’s lifelong partnership in art, design, and life, as well as provide insight into the world of two highly talented artists working in synergy. The event is sponsored by the DIA auxiliary group Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art and is free and open to the public.

Between them, Isabel and Ruben Toledo have a repertoire of disciplines, from fashion, costume and furniture design to illustration and animation. Talley is a giant in the fashion world, having been the former editor-at-large for Vogue, a judge on America’s Top Model and a front-row regular at fashion shows in New York, Paris, London, and Milan for more than 30 years.

The Cuban-born Toledos met as teenagers and married in 1984. Isabel designs and constructs her namesake women’s wear collections from the Toledos’ legendary New York City studio and participates in New York, Barcelona and Paris Fashion Weeks. She is highly regarded for her iconic lemon grass inauguration dress designed for former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2009. Ruben is a painter, sculptor and fashion chronicler who creates incisive illustrations for top international magazines, journals, and fashion retailers, including the New Yorker, Vogue, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Harper’s Bazaar, Visionair and The New York Times. His work has been shown at prestigious institutions including the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Pitti Palace in Florence. The Toledo’s are currently designing sets and costumes for the Miami Ballet’s new production of “The Nutcracker,” which premieres this December.

Talley is a fashion world icon who began his career in New York as an editor for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and Women’s Wear Daily. He worked at Vogue for more than 34 years in various positions, including writer, creative director, and editor-at-large. He is currently a contributing editor to Vogue, host of both Vogue’s podcast and the live talk show “Full Length” on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy. He has written several books, among them “A.L.T 365” (2005), “Little Black Dress” (2013) and Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style (2015). He co-authored Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table (2014) with the designerTalley has curated several fashion exhibitions, including “Joaquín Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress” (2011), “High Style” (2011), Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection (2013) and “Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective” (2016).

Ruben and Isabel Toledo with Michelle Obama dress.  Photo by Jason Riff

(From left) Isabel Toledo, Sessilee Lopez, and Ruben Toledo.  Photo by Norman Jean Roy, Vogue, November 2005

Lead image of André Leon Talley courtesy of alchetron.com

For more information contact: Pamela Marcil | 313-833-7899 | pmarcil@dia.org

Museum Hours and Admission

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $12.50 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62+, $6 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art individually and with each other.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

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