Beloved editor and writer Ingrid Sischy, 63, died Friday morning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after losing her battle with breast cancer. Sischy was a chronicler of pop culture, art, music, celebrity, and fashion. She was most recently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair (including international editions) and served as editor of Interview from 1989 to 2008 with her wife, Interview president and publisher Sandra Brandt.
In a tribute piece written today, VF editor in chief Graydon Carter wrote of his colleague and friend: “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.”
Her final piece for Vanity Fair, about Karl Lagerfeld’s seven-year-old godson Hudson Kroenig, will appear in their September issue. In 2013, The Daily Front Row celebrated her lengthy and fascinating story on John Galliano with our ‘Fashion Scoop of The Year’ award at our first Fashion Media Awards. Her longtime friend Bruce Weber presented her with the award saying, “A writer from The Explorers Club once asked George Mallory why he had set out to climb Mount Everest. He responded simply, ‘Because it was there.’ I think our friend Ingrid Sischy shares his life’s philosophy. Join me now in a pow wow about Ingrid. She’s well known in our neighborhood for being a writer who never gives up on a story. One night, we went to see a late screening in Montauk of the infamous film Snakes on a Plane. The next morning she sent a mass email with a glowing review to all her friends. Tonight, we all celebrate you.”
Elton John has also released a statement via Facebook: “Ingrid Sischy was my best friend and the sister I never had. Like Gianni Versace before her, she inspired me, educated me and was always there for me, and for David. I cannot imagine life without her love and wisdom and humour. God speed to you my dearest angel. Our story is special and so were you. My love to Sandy Brandt, her beautiful wife and our beautiful friend. Forever, Elton.”
On a personal note, Ingrid was always a friendly and familiar face to see at fashion shows around the world. She supported everyone from new designers to the legends. Before shows began, I would often ask her for a few quotes on whatever our question of the day was or what she thought of John Galliano’s collection with Oscar de la Renta. (For the record, she loved it.) Sometimes she would tell me to come back to her tomorrow, because she wanted to think of her answer to make it good. I would always track her down the next day and her answer was always better than good. She was witty, funny, and adored pop culture and fashion. It’s not very often a well-traveled, writing genius could also go on and on about how much she loved the movie Bridesmaids.
We had a more in-depth experience working together when I interviewed her for our Media Issue about her piece on Galliano. We had repeated calls and e-mail exchanges to make the story about the story as interesting and true as possible. She was committed to every word. My final question to her in our 2013 interview was more of a statement. We had just been talking about her best friend Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette and I said to her: “What a life you lead!” She replied, “We’re lucky, you know. It’s an amazing world we have all found ourselves in.” She will be deeply missed.