The fashion and media worlds will pay their respects to Glenn O’Brien, the late magazine editor, writer and creative director, who died in April at 70.
The memorial will take place at New York’s SVA Theatre from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, according to a representative from O’Brien’s family.
The editor, who was perhaps best known for his long-running GQ column “The Style Guy,” was a media renaissance man of sorts, whose career reinvention from magazine editor and writer to creative director and ad man, and even TV personality, was a rarity.
A prolific writer, O’Brien got his start at Interview magazine under Andy Warhol and then became New York bureau chief at Rolling Stone in 1974. He would go on to hold editorial jobs at High Times magazine, Artforum, Maxim, GQ, become a producer and host of a TV show called “Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party,” and play in a band, Konelrad, with Douglas Kelley and Neke Carson. In the mid-Eighties, O’Brien began working for Barneys New York and he became creative director in 1988, supervising all store advertising and communication as well as handling the advertising of outside accounts including Ian Schrager Hotels and Glacier Water, until 1996. He added names to the client roster such as Calvin Klein, Swatch, Revlon, Nike, Armani, Fila and MTV’s Rock the Vote.
O’Brien also cowrote Madonna’s “Sex” book in 1992, as well as her “Girly Show” book two years later.
His writings on art were expansive and included monographs and catalog essays for artists such as Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Christopher Wool, Jeremy Blake, Keith Sonnier and Richard Prince. He also wrote books: “Soapbox: Essays Diatribes Homilies and Screeds,” Imschoot; “Basquiat,” Tony Shafrazi Gallery; “The Style Guy,” 2000, Shriners, and “How to Be a Man: A Guide to Style and Behavior for the Modern Gentleman,” among them.
Most recently, O’Brien had been writing two other books, including a memoir, as well as continuing to consult for brands, including Dior.