In our ongoing series,Model in the Spotlight, we get up close and personal with the world's leading male models.
It's fairly common for models to have a side hustle or various projects secondary to their modeling careers, but for Brook Klausing, it's the other way around. The Kentucky native owns the successful Brooklyn landscape architecture firm Brook Landscaping—which specializes in urban outdoor living spaces—and considers modeling a great way to meet new people and earn some extra cash. Not that he doesn't take it seriously—quite the opposite. With a major J.Crew campaign under his belt, Klausing seems to be just as deft in front of the camera as he is with a pair of hedge clippers.
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Agency: Re:Quest Model Management
How were you discovered? I've been involved in the construction business for some time now. Luckily, a handful of my first big clients were tastemakers that trusted my opinion and gave me the freedom to prove myself. After going through that process, I think they realized that confidence would translate to images.
Your first modeling gig: A J.Crew "real people" campaign featuring creative guys.
Most challenging part of modeling so far: Recently, it's scheduling. I have a lot of responsibilities and prioritizing goals becomes the key to juggling my time. Modeling is a great way to meet amazing people and earn extra cash. At the end of the day, you need to know your values—to stay healthy and feel good about your personal growth.
Any pre-shoot rituals or superstitions? If I haven't been social before a shoot or I just roll out of bed, I like to make funny faces and have a weird, long, abstract dialogue with myself. I find that not taking yourself too seriously helps you stay real. If I'm having fun acting silly, it makes me not care what others think about me. This industry, and New York City in general, is filled with people afraid to put their guard down. Be gracious and stay humble; it keeps you sane.
You're also a landscape designer. How did you get involved in that? Growing up in Kentucky we didn't have a lot of money. My dad worked for Parks and Recreation, while my mom put herself through nursing school at night. My father would have my brother and me help him around the yard and with the side projects he would take on. After doing it enough, my brother and I started working on our own projects to earn spending money. It wasn't until much later that I realized that a foundation in horticulture could mature into a much more artistic passion rather than just a service.
Any landscape design tips you can share? Make it function; then give it balance and style.
You're best quality: I'm sensitive.
You're worst quality: I'm impatient.
What is one thing people don't know about you? Beautiful women make me shy.
What's your grooming regimen? I still use drugstore bar soap, but I've developed a few other favorites. My YSL deodorant smells nice and makes me feel expensive. Arm & Hammer is my favorite toothpaste, and for my hair I use Lavett & Chin Sea Salt Texturizing Mist. If you haven't heard of it, it's awesome. I won't be able to tell you my signature scent, but it's potent—made of equal parts luxury and sweat equity. It's not for sale.
—Todd Plummer, follow him @toddkingston