The shape and dynamism of an ocean wave fascinates Rogan as much as the spherical sculptures of Brancusi, the perfection of rocks on the beach, and the way his Amish jacket has it’s pockets on the inside in order to achieve the perfect utilitarian garment, completely devoid of decoration. Once into marine biology, Rogan realized at some point that it was too academic and fell into clothing design from a totally conceptual place. “I am visually literate,” he says. “I see things and their process.” Three-dimensional objects like furniture and mobiles are what keep Rogan interested in fashion, like the carrot shaped bottom of his favorite pant.
A huge fan of the uniform (he has worn the same pair of pants, designed and refined by him over ten years, for the last four months), with an emphasis on fabric, Rogan primarily buys anything traditional Japanese because they are a culture of “makers.” They repair a piece of fabric or a garment until it becomes something new. Like his workwear kimono suggests, for him it is more about the love of textiles than strictly clothing. And the pants which Rogan feels no need to change for any occasion are a Western version of an Eastern pant, with the long rise and pockets in all of the right places for all of the right things, including his pocket knife for his time spent reductive landscaping. Growing up between the Midwest and Middle East has had its own aesthetic imprint.
As a designer at Loomstate and ROGAN NYC, he describes his aesthetic mantra as “soulful minimalism,” embodied in a button down shirt that is slowly shredding (my favorite kind!). He’s so driven to simplicity that even the t-shirt isn’t quite there– he makes them out of one piece of fabric wrapped around the body in order to cut the number of seams from two to one. Rogan considers his monk-like devotion to his aesthetic, right down to his side braid, a sharp contrast to an industry catering to men who are so beaten down by the commercial convention of fashion that they stick to either their “bling” or their five-pockets jeans like glue. Preacher-like in mostly black and clean lines, everyone’s trying to get control of one’s purchases, as opposed to just letting people be themselves, he states. It’s all commerce and little creativity. For Rogan, evolution and constant change are inspiration– for example, a set of carpets in his home were never quite “perfect” until they were faded by sunlight. “You want to control it, I try to control it, but you can’t. You just have to give in,” exactly the wabisabi-type approach to thinking that Rogan has to take while he is doing one of the things he loves most: surfing.