Former GQ Style Guy: ‘Rebranding of the Style Guy is Offensive’

"I would have been happy to just go quietly away from such a vulgar operation, but I am offended at being made a scapegoat for their spectacular incompetence."

Glenn O’Brien, the GQ Style Guy for 15 years who was recently replaced with Mark Anthony Green, is not happy. O’Brien told FourPins.com he found the way he was replaced “dishonest” and “offensive:”

I find the notion that this is a ‘rebranding’ of the Style Guy offensive. I created the Style Guy, not GQ. It existed before I went to GQ. It had a long run in Details. I published a book under that title. It’s not something that existed before. It’s not like ‘managing editor’ or ‘film critic.’ Their proprietary attitude toward what I’ve done is not only insulting, but really unoriginal.

O’Brien went on to say that he decided to resign two months before his contract was up because his column was cut out of two previous issues with no explanation, and because of an editorial disagreement with GQ editor Jim Nelson. O’Brien then noted that replacing him with Green—who is much younger—incorrectly implied that O’Brien wasn’t up to the task any more.

“To have had a brilliant success for fifteen years with something I created and then to try to make it appear like suddenly I wasn’t modern enough or they needed to go younger is completely dishonest,” said O’Brien. “In fact it is entirely about going cheaper.”

In a statement to FourPins, Nelson reiterated that it was time for a change:

I don’t think about it so much as ‘rebranding’ Style Guy as just rethinking it, which you always have to do in magazines, particularly with columns, even the very best of which can get predictable after a while. And Glenn’s was among the very best. I loved Glenn’s column, his wit and his take on fashion and style history, for many, many years—and he’s absolutely right that he has a unique voice. But I thought, after 16 years, it was time for a different perspective on fashion and style.