celebrity shopping

What André Leon Talley Can’t Live Without

The essentials according to ALT. Photo: Courtesy of the vendor, Getty Images

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the ground coffee and the bathroom rug. We asked Vogue contributing editor André Leon Talley which items he can’t live without.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

These are my bedroom slippers. They’re like a black mule, but made for a man: thin-soled and sheepskin-lined. I like the black matte leather, not the suede. They are the most comfortable things. My feet have become bigger because of them, I think. They’ve spread like a platypus because I wear Uggs. But there’s nothing like them. I didn’t want to wear Uggs for years. I thought, “Oh, Uggs.” But four years ago, I decided to get Ugg boots to walk around in winter snow, and I discovered that they were very comfortable, like bedroom shoes for the street. I ordered them in black and gray and brown and would have them monogrammed with my initials by this little lady on the Upper East Side who does pillowcases and sheets too. I had my gray boots with blue monograms and black boots with Russian-red A-L-T. These slippers I don’t have monogrammed, but it’s true what they say: Once you put on an Ugg, you never turn back.


This wonderful toothbrush is battery-operated and spins, but it’s not that expensive. It’s a must-have. I buy a new one once a month. That’s what you’re supposed to do. I know they sell the replacement brush heads, but you’re not supposed to keep these toothbrushes forever. I’ve used other battery-operated toothbrushes — Brauns and things — but I like Arm & Hammer because I trust the brand. I use the baking soda in the refrigerator to trap odors. I use the laundry detergent when I can find it.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

I found this rare copy of Karajan conducting Beethoven’s Ninth, which is one of the greatest pieces of music ever composed. I’ll listen to the CD when I want to be inspired, or when things have been a challenge, or when I’m feeling a bit down. Why Herbert von Karajan? His is just the definitive, ultimate version. I watch the DVD because he’s very demonstrative and very dramatic — he’s a small man but towering. And yet he still possesses restraint and discipline. I actually know his widow, Eliette von Karajan, too. I watch the DVD at Christmastime. I watched it three weeks ago. It’s essential to my life force.

Also available in CD form on Amazon for $12

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

I have a whole stack of books next to my armchair. I’m reading an extraordinary book on Lena Horne, who was just a wonderful, iconic actress — I knew her very well. I went to see her one-woman show on Broadway maybe 17 times. And then the classic The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and at the top of my reading pile is Maureen Dowd’s latest, The Year of Voting Dangerously.

I love that you can shop online on the computer and just fill your shopping cart on your monster screen and get the most wonderful home essentials for domesticity. I adore this liquid for washing dishes by hand, but I’ll also use the dishwasher gel for items that can be put in the machine, too. I prefer the Seventh Generation dish liquid because it’s better for the environment. Shopping for household items has turned into something I just love doing. I go online and stock up on all the things that help you maintain your impeccability: Tide, Clorox, Windex, Bounty.

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What André Leon Talley Can’t Live Without