For years I’ve only known Glenn O’Brien as GQ’s eponymous Style Guy – dishing out sartorial advice to the masses that generally boils down to “do what you feel is right for you but do it well.” Accompanied by some fantastic, yet slightly abstract, artwork, Glen’s advice has informed thousands of young men to aspire to be better dressed and better suited to tackle the intricacies of modern chivalry.
When I was digging around his background for this article, however, I found his history in the fashion, art and music world to extend far further than the pages of GQ.
First things first, the guy hung out with Andy Warhol as a member of his factory back in the 70’s. That just about says it all right there.
From there, O’Brien went on to become the editor of Interview, the beginning of a long stint of editorial positions that involved everything from Art in America to Antiques. Throughout the course of his career, Glenn became the quintessential taste-maker, offering his opinion on anything that he sees as beautiful, pleasurable or artistic.
More recently, O’Brien has taken his talents to publishing, releasing two novels: How To Be a Man: A Guide To Style and Behavior For The Modern Gentleman (which Joey Votto called “a great book from start to finish, unless you wear sweatpants in public”) and The Style Guy, a “practical, down-to-earth advice on dress, manners, sex, grooming, and dating.”
With more than 40 years in the industry, Glenn has long left the trends that sweep us all up behind, instead opting for looks that are classic, timeless and flattering.
In his own words on the state of the industry, Glenn frequently writes, "Style isn't fashion. Fashion is about what everybody's doing, what everybody's wearing. Style is about what you're doing, what you're wearing."
If you aren't already, it’s worth keeping up with his weekly Style Guy column here.
As always, our beautiful artwork is by Gabi Anderson of Gabi Anderson Studio. You can purchase her paintings here.