Ladies – have we got an interview for you. Take a deep breath and make sure you’re sitting down if you’re reading this, because you may keel over from a mild heart attack when you cast your eyes over this gorgeous ‘fella. That’s right, we’re getting up close and personal with the ridiculously good looking, world dominating male model, David Gandy!
Gandy first caught our eyes in his famous Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue fragrance ad – his smouldering good looks did not go unnoticed! He’s modelled for every major fashion house you can think of and now he’s teamed up with one of our favourite British brands, Marks and Spencer, to create his own men’s underwear and sleepwear range for their Autograph collection. And did we mention that he’s modelling them too? Phew! Is it getting hot in here? The collection launches in Hong Kong on 23 September, and includes a selection of eleven underwear pieces in four different styles, eight different vests and jersey nightwear… all in slimming and sophisticated styles. Using premium materials, this classy collection is the male equivalent of M&S’s Autograph collection from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – perfect for any of the men in your life, especially if you’ve already started on that Christmas shopping list!
We chat to David about his new collection, what he looks for in a woman, his work for Comic Relief, his love of cars and whether the film Zoolander has any real life parallels… there’s more to him than being just ridiculously good looking!
How have you found the design process? Do you think that modelling has helped you to be a better designer?
As this is my first venture into designing, there have certainly been challenges, but working with the experts at Marks & Spencer has made the process a lot easier. There’s a lot to learn, but I have also been very focused on how I want the collection and the packaging to be. Though I’m not sure modelling in particularly has helped with designing, being in the fashion industry and observing the many creatives and designers that I’ve worked with certainly has helped. When it came to brainstorming the ideas for the campaign shoot, then of course my experience with photographers helped too. I’ve learnt what works and I’ve learnt from mistakes that have been made in the past.
What is your favourite piece from the collection?
My favourite pieces are the trunks and the houndstooth dressing gown. We have packaged them beautifully, in high-quality boxes with a houndstooth print – they have a very British feel to them!
What do you always buy from M&S?
I wear everything from M&S – from the t-shirts and the cashmere, to the dress and casual shirts and the suits. The quality and attention to detail is, in my opinion, the best on the British high street.
In your opinion, do women have more of a preference when it comes to men’s underwear? Boxers or briefs?
Everyone has a different preference, men and women. At M&S we are all jokingly taking bets on what will be the most popular… Most of the women there prefer men in the hipsters or trunks. Within the range I’ve designed, there is a classic pair of woven cotton classic boxers that I nick-named the ‘Girlfriend Boxer’, as I think it’ll be the pair that your girlfriend will steal and wear around the house.
What’s been your most challenging modeling moment so far?
There have been many challenges to modelling. The main one being trying to change the stereotypical ways that people from within, and outside, of the fashion industry see male models.
When did you know you’d ‘made it’ in modeling? Do you ever get used to seeing yourself plastered on billboards?
I always wanted to create an iconic image. Dolce and Gabbana and Mario Testino definitely did this with the concept for the Light Blue fragrance. I’m not sure you should ever believe you ‘make it’; I believe you should always try to better yourself and to evolve. You have to adapt and never become complacent as there is always so much competition – not just from other models, but now celebrities, actors, sports people and musicians.
Apart from modelling, you’re also a bit of a petrol-head. You’re an official car reviewer for British GQ… that must be fun! What exactly does it entail… apart from driving around in fancy cars (wink!)?
It doesn’t always mean the cars are fancy! They may be classics, hybrids… really anything that I think is a clever piece of design or engineering. I have total freedom in what I talk about, but GQ isn’t a motoring magazine, so I try to appeal not only to fellow petrol heads but also to the reader who has little or no interest in cars. For me, that’s a real challenge.
What do you look for in a woman? What are your ideal qualities in a partner?
Someone who is humble, funny and doesn’t take themselves too seriously!
What makes a girl ‘sassy’?
I’m sure that women are born sassy. They are bold, strong, and full of life. I also think they can be sassy through fashion – what a women wears says a lot about her.
You started the ‘Blue Steel Appeal’ for the charity Comic Relief in 2013 – how true to life would you say the Zoolander film is… can you relate in anyway or is it purely comical?
It’s definitely a highly exaggerated, comical take on models and the fashion industry. I can’t say I relate to it, no! But there are certainly a few characters that I can recognise… and the film is fun.
Will you continue with the ‘Blue Steel Appeal’ and are there any charities that you regularly support or want to work with?
The Blue Steel Appeal will certainly continue to raise money for Comic Relief through the fashion industry. I am also ambassador for Battersea Dogs Home in London and Style for Soldiers, as well as many other charities that I try and support as much as I can. I recently donated my fee from the campaign I shot with a Filipino brand, SM, to the Yolanda housing projects which will help build 11 new homes for the victims of the typhoon.