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Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour says it was difficult to watch her friend become heavier and heavier. "I noticed that it was hard for him to even sit in the front rows at the fashion shows because he was simply too big—he couldn't fit. He was having a lot of trouble breathing and I just saw the situation getting worse and worse."

Andre says the low point of his day was walking into Anna's office and being scanned head to toe. "I knew she was scanning me…for the girth," Andre says. Anna even tried to help Andre by orchestrating an intervention, but it was unsuccessful. "The intervention didn't work," Andre says, "because it was all secret. I was told [to go] downstairs. I thought I was going to be fired! I said, 'What have I done? Why am I going at 7:30 in the morning to the third floor? I never go to the third floor conference room.' And in [the room] were Mr. de la Renta, Mrs. de la Renta, my minister Calvin O. Butts, Anna Wintour and myself. … I thought, 'What is this?' When I got in the room I started greeting people. I thought, 'Oh, this is fabulous—I must be getting an award. … Then something clicked…uh-oh…this is not an award.

"The only thing I kept thinking is, 'Maintain your dignity. Get out of the room. Leave the building. The intervention was not good. But this year it clicked for me."
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FROM: I Let Myself Go: Confessions of a Fashion Icon
Published on September 15, 2005

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