According to legendary shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, “Andre doesn’t have fashion. Andre himself is fashion.” Andre Leon Talley’s passion developed during his youth. Growing up in Durham, the women in Talley’s family taught him the power of clothes. “Church clothes were our couture clothes, in the weeks they worked hard, they were domestic maids, and on Sundays, everyone had gloves, everyone had polished shoes and bags, hats, and everything was just fabulous when they went to church.”
After finishing college, he attended Brown University for a master’s degree in French Literature. While at Brown, Talley cultivated his love of luxury before moving to New York City. Harkening back to his childhood, Talley believes people have become lazy and casual in their attire, “There was a time when people went on the airplane with gloves. It’s about gloves, O.K., darling? It’s about gloves. Listen.”
Time in New York allowed Talley to break into the fashion circle. In 1975 he started working for Andy Warhol and volunteering at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Costume Institute, Andre met one of his most influential mentors, Diana Vreeland. As the former editor in chief of Vogue, Vreeland taught Talley some of the finer aspects of clothing and design, contributing to his ever-growing knowledge of the industry.
Following in her footsteps, Andre joined Vogue as fashion news editor in 1983. He quickly became known for his wit and candor, when asked in a recent interview what he slept in, he simply replied “the nude.” Throughout his career at Vogue Talley served in multiple capacities and in 2010 he joined America’s Next Top Model as a judge alongside Tyra Banks. Andre Leon Talley’s dedication to luxury and personal flair makes him an Ace & Everett man.
John F. Kennedy, affectionately known to the American public as Jack, was born on 1917 in Brookline, Mass., the same town as Co-founder, Oliver English. As a young boy Jack and his eight siblings summered in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. It was here that Jack got early exposure to sailing and football.
During high school Jack attended Choate, a boarding school in Connecticut. His skill on the gridiron led him to Harvard where JFK determined he would make a million dollars by the age of 35. After University, Jack joined the Navy where his heroic actions made him the only president to ever have earned a Purple Heart.
As a blossoming politician, Jack married Jacqueline Bouvier soon after being elected as a senator. This power couple would go on to dominate the American press for years to come. On January 20th, 1961 JFK was sworn in at the age of 43 as the youngest elected president in history. During his inaugural speech he dictated these famous words “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Throughout his life Jack was known for his impeccable style and public persona. Even as a young lad, his commitment to fashion was evident in his penchant to suit up and his attention to detail. Jack’s style was highlighted by his use of accessories, most notably sunglasses and pocket squares. JFK knew how to look classy even when he dressed down, he always made sure to tuck in a short sleeve button down.
The man was also known for the company he kept. In 1962 at Madison Square Garden during a celebration of his 45th birthday, Marilyn Monroe famously performed Happy Birthday Mr. President. It was a sensual ode delivered in a stunningly sexual dress so tight that it had to be literally sewn on. Monroe wore nothing beneath it. Ever the entertainer, President Kennedy came on stage afterward and joked, “I can now retire from politics after having had happy birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.” JFK’s confident demeanor, heroic military service, and impeccable dress make him and Ace & Everett man.