With Brant and Sischy Gone, Is Interview Over?

What Everyone Is Talking About

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Now that Editor Ingrid Sischy and Publisher Sandra Brant have both resigned, could Interview's 15 minutes be up?

That's the question many were pondering last week after the monthly founded by Andy Warhol lost its two biggest masthead fixtures.
Ingrid Sischy, a onetime Warhol protege, has become a mag-world fixture
Ingrid Sischy, a onetime Warhol protege, has become a mag-world fixture Credit: Andrew Walker
Ms. Brant had been co-publisher of Brant Publications since 1985, overseeing titles such as The Magazine Antiques and Art In America before taking on Interview in 1989, the year Ms. Sischy took the editing reins. Though circulation and ad revenue were expected hurdles, the pair also was faced with keeping Interview relevant in a post-Warhol Manhattan and a culture that was beginning to lose its pop.

And for a long time, they did. Ms. Sischy stayed true to the magazine's fly-on-the-wall celebrity aesthetic, creating an alternate universe where the mega-famous interviewed, photographed and gushed over each other in candid Q&A's and eight-page photo spreads. No detail was deemed too small for Interview's transcripts (celebrities' phones get randomly disconnected too!) or too strange (a 2002 Susan Sarandon-Jake Gyllenhaal Q&A took place in the women's bathroom of a Manhattan restaurant). The editorial was both fascinating and frustrating, knowing that even the most plugged-in journalist could never capture moments as candid with these stars as their compatriots could. Even the masthead reads like an Oscar-party guestlist: Selma Blair is West Coast editor at large; Sean Penn, Edward Norton and Marc Jacobs are on the list of contributing editors.

Ms. Sischy, for her part, parlayed her years as Warhol's culturally clairvoyant protégé into a viable magazine-world persona, joining a club that also includes Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour.

It's tough to watch Interview enter its third generation without any direct grandfathering of the Warhol spirit or the uniquely New York vision Ms. Sischy brought to it. A cadre of copycats such as Paper, BlackBook and Flaunt since have adopted many of Interview's key quirks and features, arguably just as well in some cases, rendering a defibrillator for Interview almost unnecessary. As Mr. Carter himself told Women's Wear Daily: "I'm not sure it's a business without them. They did everything."
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