There is no better example of the saying “swag is for boys and class is for men” than Rainer Andreesen. The 51 year old Canadian-born artist and model is officially one of the best dressed men of 2014, according to Vanity Fair magazine.
Even though it comes as a “shock” and “quite intimidating” to be on the same list as Colin Firth and Pharrell Williams, Rainer welcomes the honour.
I feel very honoured that Rainer Andreesen was kind enough to find time in his busy schedule and talk to me about his style, modelling career and his art. Describing his style, he says:
“I would describe my style as classic with a twist.”
“I would describe my style as classic with a twist. I love classic tailoring but also try to throw a little spark of colour in. Be it a colourful accessory such as a tie, sock, pocket square or different colour shoes.”
It takes a long time to find a style that you are comfortable with and being a model helps. During his career as a fashion model, Rainer has had the opportunity to try different styles and fashions, and use that to define his own style.
“I have been exposed to many different designers and styles through my work. I get to try on all of these different cloths, so I know what feels good and suits me for my own taste. I also love to wear nice things and represent the clients I work for.”
Rainer never planned on becoming a fashion model. He studied Graphic Design and worked for a couple of advertising agencies in Vancouver before opening his own design studio. It was then when one of his clients approached him for a possible modelling job:
“I was always interested in art but did not know the avenues to take in making a career out of it. I moved to Vancouver [Canada] to go to an art school. I ended up taking a four year intense Graphic Design programme with a little fine arts training.”
“I became a graphic designer and illustrator for four years with a couple of ad agencies in Vancouver until I opened my own design studio. During that time, I was approached to take some photos with a client of mine for a possible modelling job.That job turned into a campaign for a department store and from that, I was scouted to travel to Milan [Italy] and give this new found diversion a try.”
“I wanted to travel and this opportunity was the perfect excuse. I ended up passing my design clients to another firm and spent the next two years travelling the world from my base in Italy.”
“I had no idea that I could ever model or why I was even asked in the first place. It really was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. My first job in Milan was to walk the runway for Giorgio Armani and from there it was a fast uphill ride. After two years of basing myself in Europe, I moved to new York, which still remains my home.”
“My biggest achievement as a model is that I am still working as a model at my age.”
Even though most fashion models have a very short shelf life, Rainer is still working and in more demand than ever.
Modelling for some of the biggest brands in fashion aside, Rainer Andreesen is also a very talented and sought-after artist, best known for his portraits.
Art has always been his main passion and he has been drawing and doing water colours since he was five years old. He has been painting in oils for the past 20 years or so.
“I would describe my style of art as classical portraiture. My main goal when I paint portraits is to not only capture the likeness of the subject, but also the spirit.”
“My other goal, in a technical aspect, is for the painting to appear somewhat photo realist from a distance and more abstract as you approach the painting to see the detail of the brush strokes. My all-time favourite painter is John Singer Sargent and he achieved this.”
As an artist, Rainer Andreesen draws his inspiration from life; the things he sees and the people he meets. “Lighting and an interest in the subject” are the key ingredients for his portraits.
I couldn’t resist asking him about the future:
“My plans for the future are to live in the present and to keep painting and modelling as long as I can, and to enjoy every step of the way.”