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Death of an icon and more Djokovic questions

Two big bits of news from the worlds of culture and sport: first, the death of trailblazing fashion guru André Leon Talley on Monday; he was 73. As the New York Times puts it, Talley, who was African American,  shattered his industry’s glass ceiling when he went from the Jim Crow South to the front rows of Paris couture. Talley rose to prominence as the creative director and right-hand person to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour from 1983 to 1995. 🤩 He left Vogue to live in Paris and returned to the magazine as Editor at Large in 1998, leaving again in 2013. In 2020 he released a memoir detailing his time at the magazine and lifting the lid on widespread racism – like the time a publicist for luxury fashion brand YSL called him “Queen Kong”. Talley used his time at Vogue to quietly and firmly advocate for the representation of black models in the fashion industry.💪🏽

Turning to sport, critics of tennis superstar Novak Djokovic have decried Tennis Australia for being unusually gracious around Djokovic’s Australian Open visa debacle. The body delayed announcing its match schedule while Djokovic defended his refusal to vaccinate, which is a requirement for all entering Australian borders. Critics say tennis bodies would not have extended the same grace to black athletes like Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. 🤨

The Australian Immigration Minister cancelled Djokovic’s visa last Friday saying his stay in Australia would incite civil unrest due to its strict vaccination campaign. So the Serb misses out on his chance to score a record 21st men’s Grand Slam title and a 10th Australian Open victory. His deportation may also keep him out of other global competitions; many countries are reluctant to issue visas to those deported by other countries. And he’ll have to change his vaccination status, too: the French Open has already said that without a Covid vaccine, he’s not welcome at the competition in May.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 20 January 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.