André Leon Talley has experienced racism in the fashion industry.

The former Vogue editor-at-large grew up in the segregated South in the US and says he struggled to come to terms with the fact he may never hold a top magazine job because of his ethnicity.

He told Vanity Fair magazine: ''People stereotype you. What person of colour do you know who's in a position like that, be it a man or a woman, unless it's Essence magazine?''

The new Russian Numéro editor-at-large also spoke openly about his sexuality in the candid interview, insisting he doesn't label himself as gay and joking about his strict upbringing.

André said: ''I was just into my magazines and the drawings. I had a very strict upbringing, almost puritanical. I lived there all the way through college. I was in my grandmother's house, and I respected that!''

Although the former 'America's Next Top Model' judge has had ''gay experiences'' in the past, he would never date a male designer.

He laughed: ''I swear on my grandmother's grave that I never slept with a single designer in my life. Never, ever desired, never was asked, never was approached, never, ever bought, in my entire career. Never. Not one. Skinny or fat. Never.''