Gloria Schiff, Fashion Editor and Glamorous Twin Model, Dies at 90

Gloria Schiff, Fashion Editor and Glamorous Twin Model, Dies at 90


“Jackie asked her who had made it,” Vanity Fair wrote in 2011. “Gloria said Valentino, who happened to be in New York, and she set up an appointment for that afternoon. The six outfits Jackie ordered that day would see her through her year of mourning and make Valentino an international star.”

Although both twins were married and led glittery social lives — Ms. Schiff in New York and Ms. Crespi, who became a countess, in Rome — their primary relationship was with each other. They had a standing date to talk every night on the phone from wherever in the world they were, Ms. Robert said in a telephone interview. And, she said, when Ms. Crespi was giving birth in Switzerland, Ms. Schiff, who was in New York, had abdominal cramps so severe that she went to the emergency room.

Their immersion in each other’s lives ended in 2010 when Ms. Crespi died after a stroke at 82.

“I was very angry when Consuelo died,” Ms. Schiff told Vanity Fair. “We were so close for 82 years. That’s longer than any marriage.”

Gloria O’Connor was born on May 31, 1928, in Larchmont, N.Y. Her father, William O’Connor, had left Ireland at the turn of the century, and her mother, Nancy O’Brien, followed shortly thereafter. Mr. O’Connor worked at a mineral water company and eventually became its president. The couple had four girls: Marie, Perpetual, Gloria and Consuelo.

When the twins were around 7, their parents separated, though they never divorced. Mrs. O’Connor and her daughters moved to Nova Scotia, where the girls attended convent school.

In 1943 the family moved back to Manhattan, and the twins’ modeling career took off. The girls were in the elevator one day at the Hotel des Artistes, where they lived, when they were spotted by the fashion photographer Andre de Dienes, who had shot for Vogue and had photographed a young Norma Jean Baker before she became Marilyn Monroe.



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