Queer Feminist Journalist Ingrid Sischy Dies at 63

Ingrid Sischy (right) with her partner Sandra Brant (left)

Ingrid Sischy, an art, fashion and photography critic as long as the ex-editor-in-chief of the Interview magazine, - Andy Warhol’s magazine before he died- sadly passed away on the 24th after fighting breast cancer. The art and fashion worlds are in grief and it’s not for nothing: she has been a great influential figure as well as a spokesperson for queer and feminist women in fashion.

She started her journalistic career in 1979 when she became the editor of the magazine Artforum. This role gave her great notoriety throughout the art world and she kept the reputation during her whole life. In 1988, after having quit Artforum in 1987she became a contributor for the New Yorker as a photography and fashion critic until 1996. In 1989, she became the editor-in-chief of Interview. She was depicted by Janet Malcolm as “a pleasant, intelligent, unassuming, responsible, ethical young woman.” Then, in 1997, she became an international contributing editor for Vanity Fair and, that, until her death.

Her eventful life, as many might think, isn’t the only reason why she was (and still is) so admired by the cultural spheres: she was a proud fighter for queer and women rights and was out during her whole career. Here are a few examples of her constant fight for rights: in an interview for The Advocate, she spoke about the effects of gay liberation on fashion (and the fact that queer women sadly had difficulty to take place in the fashion world); spoke about how, even in fashion, women don’t have their place as designers in the same interview; commissioned an attack against the MoMA for a racist show; was the first to interview John Galliano after he had been fired from Dior after bashing Jewish people in 2013 (an astute move, since Ingrid was raised Jewish); she made a panel about the institutionalization of feminism at the MoMA.

She dedicated her life to make the art world more accessible and young artists from Basquiat in his early career to Cindy Sherman, from Laurie Anderson to Rober Mapplethorpe. She worked on including lesbian women in fashion and making more choices available to them than tuxedos and blazers. She used her power to speak about the oppressed groups and fight for them.

Sischy didn’t only contribute to the cultural world: she carved it to her image. She made it more accessible and as non-pretentious as she could by publishing about young artists in various magazines at the time where the Internet didn’t exist to find about them easily and taught people about social justice while fighting against oppression. She was a great, influential figure and will definitely be missed.

Words by: Camille D.

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