Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant to Helm ‘Vanity Fair’ AbroadDon’t cry for Ingrid Sischy. After she abruptly departed her eighteen-year position as editor-in-chief of Interview magazine, and her girlfriend Sandra Brant (you remember her – she used to be married to Peter Brant) sold her half-ownership stake in the parent company Brant Publications, people were wondering what she was going to do with her life. After all, for nearly two decades her name was synonymous with Andy Warhol’s gritty, authentic magazine. But it turns out she’s had a great plan all along! Condé Nast HR mouthpiece WWD tells us that both Sischy and Brant will be international editors of Italian, Spanish, and German versions of Vanity Fair. And, what’s more, they’ll helm any future glamorous expansions abroad. Which is great news for them, probably, but it also raises the question: Is this the biggest lesbian sellout since Anne Heche ditched chicks?
Sischy, Brant Join Vanity Fair International Editions [WWD]
Swiss Restaurant Mogul Looks to Become Uppity Burger BaronAmong the high rollers we met at last night’s autism benefit was a good-natured Swiss restaurateur with the formidable name of Dr. Wolf Wagschal. Wagschal was being shown around by our old pal Drew Nieporent, and we found ourselves chatting up the good doctor about his plans. It appears that Wagschal has it in mind to create a gourmet, high-end, white-tablecloth restaurant devoted entirely to hamburgers. “It won’t be like you have here, with your bacon cheeseburgers and so on,” he tells us. “We will have a cordon bleu burger, a vitello tonnato burger, a mushroom-and-Brie burger, and so on. And it won’t be like the DB burger either; it will be totally dedicated.” Wagschal wants the restaurant, which he plans to open first in Switzerland and then in New York, to have the atmosphere of Tribeca Grill. And who can blame him? But unless he serves one of our bacon cheeseburgers, we won’t be going there. Vitello tonnato!
Bring Me the Head of Boris Yeltsin!If your May Day plans include buying a traditional nesting doll of your favorite first democratically elected Russian leader, you might be out of luck. A week after Boris Yeltsin’s death, we had a hard time locating a matryoshka doll of red-faced former president anywhere in the city. Andre Abramov, the Moscow-born owner of Kalinka Gifts in Brighton Beach, says the items were once wildly popular but he’s now out of stock. “We hope to get more,” he added, hopefully. At Manhattan Russian Souvenirs on East 14th Street, there’s only a single, large matryoshka of Yeltsin available — it’s selling for $300. (Alex, the grizzled owner, a Leningrad native who wouldn’t give his last name, has a smaller, empty Yeltsin nesting doll, but he says it’s not for sale because it’s going in his front window amid Soviet hats, old medals, and more traditional peasant-style nesting dolls.) Your best bet might be N.F. Hardware Store on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea. They’ve got a kitschy version that starts with Vladimir Putin, nests its way past Boris Nikolaevich, and ends with Stalin and Trotsky inside. All for just $49.99. —Mary Reinholz
CORRECTION: This item originally stated that Manhattan Russian Souvenirs had no matryoshkas of Yeltsin for sale; that’s incorrect.
Back of the House
Waiters Getting Screwed in New and Unusual Way?When Mr. Pink made his famous speech in defense of not tipping in Reservoir Dogs, he left out a very basic point. Waiters don’t make the minimum wage; they live off our decency. Workers have more to worry about than European-style tippers, though: A group of them has sued the management of the Old Homestead Steakhouse, to the tune of $1 million, for skimming their pool of gratuities. That suit is small potatoes, however, compared to the massive class-action case against Fireman Hospitality Group, brought to our attention by the Restaurant Opportunities Commission.