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R.I.P. Ingrid Sischy
Ingrid Sischy Dies at 63

Ingrid Sischy, 63, former editor in chief of Interview and a highly regarded writer on pop culture, art, fashion, entertainment and celebrity, died Friday morning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The cause of death was breast cancer, according to her friend, Ed Filipowski.

One of the admired editors in the fashion and art worlds, Sischy was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. She got her start in the art world as editor of Art Forum from 1979 to 1987, which was a major influence in the pioneering of established and new artists. She also brought many female artists to the forefront.

Sischy was a photography and fashion critic of the New Yorker from 1998 to 1996, where some of her milestone pieces were on Robert Mapplethorpe at the height of the AIDS crisis and the Corcoran cancellation and the first profiles on Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen and Azzedine Alaia.

She served as editor of Interview from 1989 to 1998 with her partner, Interview president and publisher Sandra Brant. The duo created a chronicle of pop culture in the Eighties and Nineties that blended art, fashion, entertainment and celebrity through high-profile interviews and photography.

In 1997, Sischy became a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and penned cover stories about Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart, as well as major features on John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons and Jean Michel Basquiat. She also was an international editor of Conde Nast International with Brant since 2008, contributing to German Vogue, French Vanity Fair, Spanish Vanity Fair and Italian Vanity Fair.

In addition to her spouse Brant, she is survived by her mother Claire and brother David Sischy.

Donations may be made in Sischy’s memory to the Studio Museum in Harlem and City Critters of New York.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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NO! Really sad to heard this. She was such an inspiring woman, so intelligent, so engaging, so fascinating.


we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams. wandering by lone sea breakers and sitting by desolate streams. world losers and world forsakers, on whom the pale moon gleams. yet we are the movers and shakers of the world for ever it seems
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She was such an academic influence on me in my formative years in the late-90s: She was my virtual professor. Her approach to high art and high fashion journalism was from that of an everywoman and made it so accessible and welcoming to me as a student then. Fantastically talented with her chosen medium. RIP Ingrid.

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This makes me sad. Such a talent. RIP and bless you Ingrid for everything. .

catherine mcneil please

Last edited by zoom; 24-07-2015 at 01:03 PM.
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So sad, may she rest in peace.

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I'm shocked. Such an original.

May she RIP

As the art and fashion worlds mourn the loss of a beloved original, Vanity Fair’s Editor recalls Sischy’s genius for mixing the pleasure of friendship with the business of truth-telling.


Ingrid Sischy, the writer and critic, died today in New York. It was sudden, but also not so sudden. She had been under the care of the legendary oncologist Dr. Larry Norton at a New York hospital for some years. Her health was up and down, but her spirit and her work ethic remained heroically steady. Not once did I ever hear her complain about the fate she had been dealt. Or even talk about it much. She just got on with things. There were so many aspects of her character to admire, but I found her saucy, cheerful stoicism to be highly attractive.

Ingrid became part of the Vanity Fair family more than two decades ago, back in the days when my fortunes at the magazine were more than a little wobbly. She was coming off a long career in art criticism, writing for her pal Bob Gottlieb at The New Yorker, and I will tell you that with her by my side, my future seemed a lot rosier. She could write about anything, but what interested her most were art and fashion, and she traversed those two hothouses like a bemused empress. She had a crisp mind and an almost uncanny focus when she sat down to write. She was a fun, conspiratorial gossip, but never with malice or envy—the working tools of so many gossips. That conspiratorial manner was evident in her work life as well. I adored cooking up stories with her. I was a sucker for her pitches and I could tell that her editors at Vanity Fair, Bruce Handy and Doug Stumpf, were as well. When she wasn’t producing nuanced, beautifully written pieces for Vanity Fair, she jumped back and forth between the U.S. and Europe, working for Jonathan Newhouse as a sort of international ambassador for the Italian, French, and Spanish editions of this magazine.

The thing about Ingrid was that although she was friendly with just about everyone in the fashion world—her closest confidants were Miuccia Prada and Karl Lagerfeld—when she sat down to write, she looked for truth, not fantasy. Perhaps the most delicate story she ever wrote for Vanity Fair was the one she did on John Galliano after he had been dropped as head designer from the house of Dior following a series of blistering anti-Semitic remarks he made that had been recorded at a bar in Paris. He was dispatched to the wilderness, broken, and alone. For more than a year, Ingrid and I worked to get him to talk to her. In the end, he did, and the story she wrote was a marvel of empathy and disclosure.

She shared her life with Sandy Brant. In the beginning they were editor and publisher of Interview magazine. Over the years their relationship became more personal, and once together, they became inseparable. It was rare to see one without the other. At the end, they had been together for 25 years, and married for the last couple of weeks. They lived well, dividing their time between a big Stanford White summer cottage far out on the tip of Long Island, and a town house in Greenwich Village. I live nearby and would regularly see them at restaurants in the neighborhood, much the way you bump into people in a small town. I remember going to dinner at their place soon after they moved in. It was a small group: just the three of us and Julian Schnabel and his then wife Olatz. Ingrid and Sandy were not teetotalers, but they weren’t big drinkers either, and their bar, such as it was, could only be described as threadbare. The next day I had a proper line-up of necessary liquor delivered as a housewarming gift.

My sister got breast cancer about 15 years ago, and when Ingrid heard the news, she became a rallying figure for our family. She walked my sister through what awaited her and then she introduced us to Dr. Norton, at which point he took my sister under his charge. She is alive and healthy today because of that introduction. Two Saturdays before Ingrid died, I sat beside her at a dinner in Southampton given by Louise Grunwald. It was a small group: Ingrid and Sandy, Bruce Weber and Nan Bush, Tom and Sheila Wolfe, Bob Colacello, my wife, Anna, and a few of my kids—including my eldest son who had a very deep connection with Ingrid. She was wonderful with young people. That evening her impish smile and those smart, mischievous eyes were on display, but she looked drawn. A few days later I got word that she had called the office and that it was urgent—an ominous sign I thought. She only ever left a message like that when we were working on a story. When I got on the phone, I said, “Are you all right?” And she said, “No. The news is not good.” Ingrid had been in a New York hospital for the week. Sandy and Dr. Norton had been by her side for most of it. She said she was dying and that she only had a few days left. While she had the strength, she said she wanted to call friends just to say good-bye.

Ingrid was a great friend and therefore she had a lot of friends. And they will be utterly bereft for the next little while, so be kind to them. They will be the ones wandering the streets, or just staring off into the middle distances, lost in the knowledge that a beloved original in an age of generics has gone somewhere else and left them behind.

Vanity Fair

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^That last line of Graydon's Obituary bought a tear to my eye. RIP Ingrid.

A few times in my life I've had moments of clarity where the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think. - Tom Ford
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A true original, and for me always a bright spot in usually heavy handed & tabloid focused articles in Vanity Fair. Hers always stood out for her talent, and clear vision.


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Loved hearing her talk about art and editing and one of my all-time favorites at Interview, too. RIP

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So sad to hear that, she's inspiring.

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OMG, can't believe she's no longer alive. I just loved her.

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