You would probably recognize Rainer as the handsome salt-and-peppered gentleman from our men’s catalog. Aside from his modeling work he’s also an accomplished painter and when we asked him to create a cover piece for our catalog, he was kind enough to oblige.
The painting we commissioned is reminiscent of two photographs. One, in the public domain from 1962, the year before our company was founded, features President John F. Kennedy aboard the US Coast Guard vessel Manitou and the other features Lands’ End founder, Gary Comer, an avid sailor himself, aboard his own beloved yacht. The final work is an homage to sailing and the summer seas, passions of President Kennedy and Gary Comer, as well as the spirit of the sailor’s heart and our brand’s nautical roots.
We thought you might like to know a little more about the artist, so we had a chat with him:
When did you start painting?
I have been drawing and painting since I was five. I’ve always been fascinated by portraits and faces in general, as far back as I can remember.
If you could only pick one to do for the rest of your life, would you choose modeling or painting? Why?
My intention has always been to paint for the rest of my life. The modeling came to me by chance and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been able to enjoy the glorious journey it has taken me on, but I’ve always known that it wouldn’t last forever. Painting is truly in my blood, and if I don’t paint for even a short period of time, I start losing my mind. It’s something that’s always with me and will be doing as long as I can.
What else do you do? What else do you wish you could do?
The one thing that I do wish I could do is play an instrument or sing. Music is a great obsession of mine. I love discovering new music and constantly have it playing. Music is by far my first love. I often wish I had Clive Davis’s job of mentoring musicians and discovering new ones.
My off time allows me to see a lot of theater and art in New York. I also see an abundance of different cultures and art in places I travel to through modeling that inspire me in my own life and art.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Father John Misty and Gavin James. They are two great voices with well-structured songs.
I listen to all sorts of music for different moods, spaces and paintings.
“Cool Change” by the Little River Band is what I loved listening to while painting the cover of this catalog. It’s a guilty pleasure song.
I use music as a tool to paint with all the time. I usually start with classical and finish with some heavy rock and roll and everything in between. I once painted 18 black-and-white portraits listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
What’s an ideal Sunday morning for you?
I am fortunate enough to say that I am able to have the ideal Sunday morning often.
It all starts with a cup of coffee (after a good solid sleep) while watching CBS Sunday Morning. Their in-depth stories always impress and inspire me. Anthony Mason’s interviews with musicians are always a treat for me. Then brunch with friends after that and life is complete.
When you aren’t modeling clothes, what’s your style of dressing?
I love a great-fitting suit. I wear them as much as I can—dinners, theater, a walk to the grocery store, painting—it’s what I feel good in. I love clothes in general and that’s why I love modeling. Beautiful clothes make me feel good and that’s why I love working with Lands’ End. I get to wear a variety of great-fitting clothes that make me feel good.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than a movie about my life getting green lit. But if it did happen, I would love my friend Bradley Cooper to play me.