Fashion Model Summer Rayne Oakes has been living in a 1,200-square-foot converted industrial space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for 11 years, and during in that time she has managed to turn it into a stunning oasis filled with 500 plants, including a living wall, an irrigated vertical garden, a closet garden, edibles and exotic species.
“I think that the only way I’ve really been able to survive in New York is by surrounding myself with plants,” Oakes told Modern Farmer Magazine, which makes sense considering she grew up in a country house on five acres of land in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, surrounded by domestic animals and lots of plants. It was fashion modelling that first brought her to the Big Apple, but that, and everything else she has been involved in since relocating to the big city, has been about raising awareness to the environment.
“It was the modeling at start because at that point in time I wanted to look at how I could bring environmental awareness out to a wider audience,” Summer said in an interview with 6sqft. “I got kind of stuck on the idea that I could do it through fashion. Not that I had ever really been involved or interested in it, and I didn’t even know how to get there other than by meeting people. Putting myself back into my 18-year-old self, it was the idea of wow, I think fashion could be a really cool way to disseminate environmental awareness.”