Writer, editor and critic Ingrid Sischy passed away on July 24, 2015 at the age of 63. Although not as recognizable as the likes of Anna Wintour or Miroslave Duma, the black specced Sischy was an icon for not only her creative hard work and outgoing personality, but her contribution to bridging the fields of art and fashion.
A South African by birth, Sischy’s family was forced to move to Scotland after a threat to her mother’s safety. After attending college, Sischy’s career took off when she became the editor of the fine art magazine, Artforum in 1979. There she explored the relationship between fashion and art, broadening the magazine’s content into the world of style.
The best example of Sischy’s influence can be seen on the cover of the February 1982 Artforum issue. On the cover, the model, with hand cocked on the hip and red makeup smeared above the cheekbones, wore a structural black rattan gown by Japanese designer Issey Miyake. The choice of Miyake was because of the designer’s aesthetic, which balances between fashion and art.
In 1990, Sischy found herself at Interview Magazine, covering the art and photography scene. She became known for her fine, in-depth writing, and according to her New York Times obituary, “the public face of Interview.”
The covers under her direction were creative and thought provoking. She blended the worlds of celebrity-obsessed pop culture with the kitschy touches of fashion and art. A Sischy cover that made waves was one of rapper Lil’ Kim naked and covered in body paint that mimicked Louis Vuitton logos.
Aside from her work at Interview, Sischy also wrote for the New Yorker on fashion and art, and as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, for which her article about the then-dethroned John Galliano become one of her most iconic works.
When not writing, Sischy’s life was filled with many friends. Since her death, designers have been speaking out about the great personality that was Sischy, with Donna Karan noting in WWD, “I’ve never met anybody more dedicated and more passionate. She understood fashion from the inside out. She was beyond fashion.”
Although the fashion world has become highly commercialized, the talent of fashion writer and critic Ingrid Sischy has caused an important relationship between art and fashion. As fashionistas flock to the nearest art museum for a fashion-bespeckled show, they have Sischy to thank.