Glenn O'Brien

Writer, etc. New York

By: Emily Ramshaw
Styling: Kerri Scales

We’ll admit that a lot of what you see on this site is driven by our own curiosity (what products do beauty editors actually use, anyway?) and obsessions (things that are pretty, people that are influential and interesting and in some way unique). And a lot of our time is spent pursuing these things—pretty doggedly, we might add—in the hopes that the results will be illuminating to us and to you. And that’s when we press Publish. So it was with particular glee when, after a few weeks’ silence, we received a response to our plea begging a few hours of time in his apartment from one Glenn O’Brien, granting us access to his East Village apartment.

See, O’Brien is pretty much the ultimate example of “persons of influence who also happen to be damn interesting.” We mean, the man wrote the book when it comes to being creative and innovative in art and fashion. But let’s start at the beginning just in case you’re missing something. O’Brien got his start at Andy Warhol’s Interview, back when the magazine was in its infancy and being published by Warhol himself out of his infamous Factory. Yes, O’Brien was a charter member of that whole crew. And after leaving that, he held successive positions at Rolling Stone, Oui (owned by Playboy), and High Times, all during the 70s. He also hosted a public access show in New York called TV Party and welcomed guests like David Bowie and Debbie Harry (but actually). Let’s just say he has a knack for being in the hottest place at exactly the right, zeitgeist-y time.

Now you’re likely to recognize O’Brien as GQ’s The Style Guy (his book is a bible for you boyfriends—buy it now)—and, well, after getting a firsthand tour of his Basquiat-filled loft (he owns a leather jacket inscribed by the artist himself with the latter’s iconic crown motif), his column title is apt. But the man is also the creative director behind such everywhere-you-look campaigns as Dior’s Charlize Theron-starring J’Adore and Dolce & Gabbana’s with Scarlett Johansson. In other words, if you’re any kind of fan of culture whatsoever (we are, in case you hadn’t noticed), there’s a good chance, in some roundabout and totally direct way, O’Brien had a hand in it. Go ahead and click through the gallery—we think you’ll get what we mean.