- Styling by Mr Mitchell Belk | Photography by Mr Billy Kidd
"I always dreamed of having a place of my own - an escape," says Mr RJ Rogenski, speaking to MR PORTER at his home in upstate New York on the afternoon of his 32nd birthday. A successful start to his modelling career as the face of DKNY and Michael Kors gave him the opportunity to pursue this dream, allowing him to buy this house - and the 10 acres of land that surround it - while still in his early twenties, barely three years after leaving his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio on a Greyhound bus bound for New York City with nothing but $300 in his pocket.
It's only after almost a decade of summers spent redecorating and rebuilding this 1970 farmhouse that Mr Rogenski has really begun to refer to it as a home. The results reveal a taste for minimalism (he makes reference to Mr John Pawson's book, A Visual Inventory, and to the work of Mr Tadao Ando when discussing his influences), and a keen understanding of architectural context, of which the newly installed windows are perhaps the best example. The huge panes of glass on either side of the building don't just allow you to see into the house - from a distance, you can see straight through it. "The idea was to open up every room and let light in," he explains. And the windows double as artworks, too. "We don't have much hanging on the walls here, but we don't need it. Every room has a different view; every view changes with the time of day and the shifting of the seasons. It's all the art we need."
MR PORTER visited Mr Rogenski at the rural Hudson hideaway that he shares with his partner and their two greyhounds to try out some softly tailored looks for spring.
Words by Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER