By Patrick Kafka, model and motorcycle enthusiast
Life’s most important truths appear contradictory on the surface, but when you look a little deeper, beneath the surface of those contradictions, real possibilities for the extraordinary begin to emerge. For Patrick Kafka, thriving in a world of opposites has become the unique reality that is the basis for his intriguing story.
Patrick came into the world in 1991, ten years after his only sibling, Patricia. Yes, I know, "Patrick" and "Patricia" - let's just say his parents wanted to keep things simple. He grew up in a humble Viennese suburb, surrounded by a family of passionate motorcycle enthusiasts and, despite being blessed with obvious good looks, navigated his way through childhood no differently from any other kid in his neighbourhood. At the age of 16, he was thrown into the fast-paced world of modelling and his life was immediately turned upside down. From that moment on, he would have to share his simple suburban life with the complexities of the fashion industry.
Fast forward ten years, and today Patrick is a highly sought-after “top model” working with some of the biggest brands in the world, including the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Ralph Lauren. Yet, he somehow remains humble and well-connected to his simple roots in Vienna. An incredible world of polar opposites has emerged through it all, sparking our curiosity to go and discover how he makes it work.
A Coffee To Get Things Started
Our journey begins with a ride through the suburban streets of Vienna and takes us to a café called NOOK on the edge of the inner city. A newly opened coffee shop owned by a personal friend of Patrick’s, with a Barista serving a brew that has the espressos flowing all morning. As the cameras come out in a room full of curious onlookers, Patrick slots into the role of model with impressive ease. In such a casual and relaxed atmosphere, it’s hard to imagine a more complex side to this simple life. It was here that he reveals his unusual entry into the world of modelling.
Thinking she had the “hottest” little brother around, Patrick’s sister entered him into a local modelling contest. Completely unaware of her devious actions, Patrick received a call instructing him to bring swimwear to the shoot. Although surprised and a little confused, his sister managed to convince him to go ahead with the contest. It turned out to be a visionary act on her behalf, as Patrick won the contest and was taken to Boston for a modelling “boot camp”. Paired with a young female model for the duration of the project, this is where Patrick would also experience his first modelling-related relationship. The real emotions from behind the camera came through naturally on set, resulting in authentic pictures that landed him his first big contract in Europe. It has been full steam ahead since then, moving between simple family life in Vienna and the chaos of modelling abroad - the world of contrasts that defines his life today.
Patrick’s insider stories from the world of modelling keep us entertained for hours, as time flies by unnoticed. We learn to “smile with our eyes” and other tricks of the trade, all while the coffee continues to flow, along with many laughs and good times.
The Other Side
The next stop on our journey is a highly anticipated one for us. We ride back to the city, for an experience that is worlds apart from the simple ride we have just enjoyed. Arriving at Wiener model’s agency, (the modelling agency that Patrick has been with since the beginning), we are greeted by one of the directors, Kosmas Pavlos. This is Patrick’s work environment and we are expecting to see another side to him that has yet to be revealed.
After greeting Pavlos and snapping a few impromptu pics out in the street, we notice that there has been no change in Patrick’s behaviour. The friendly, calm engagement between the two seems more like a highly respectful friendship than the usual working relationship we were expecting to see. Entering the modern, white walled office, lined with elite magazine covers featuring their models, we can’t help but feel a little out of place in this completely alien environment. As we meet the staff and watch Patrick interact with them, we begin to realise that these people are as much a part of his family as the real ones we heard about in his earlier stories. It is at this moment that we finally understood how he is able to deal with the unique dynamics of his lifestyle.
Close friends and family are the common factor in both his worlds and provide a support base that allows him to thrive, no matter what challenges he faces. Laughing with the staff as they experience the unease of being on Patrick’s side of the camera, the mood lightens and we are able to fully immerse ourselves in this side of his life. Hearing funny stories of evacuating photo shoots due to props catching fire and the renowned wild industry parties, it is clear that the adrenalin Patrick finds out on his motorcycle exists in this environment too.
Drawing so many parallels in these seemingly contrasting worlds reminds us that opposites do sometimes attract and, in this case, come together to create something quite extraordinary – the Patrick Kafka story.