Thanks a lot to Aline for sending me this interview, it has been a pleasure to read it. Unfortunately, the most accurately date that I can give you of this interview is about the end of last year. The print issue of this Dsection Magazine (Men's fashion and culture magazine from Portugal) was released in February 2012
DAVID, THE LAST LOVER
Interview by Tânia Filipe
I thought: it seems like now they think I’m physic I confess that at first the name only reminded me of the famous model peace prize winner, which has been dead for years but as soon as I heard the words “blue eyes and white bathing shorts”, all my bells rang at once… the answer was an obvious “yes!”, and soon I began to wonder what would I , and the rest of the world, would like to know about the most beautiful men that we are pleased to see, in such detail, advertising campaigns of the best and most recognized brands worldwide, such as the one of the fragrance “Light Blue” by Dolce & Gabbana.
Tânia Filipe: The first thing to make me curious is actually the name: Gandy. It inspired me to think about your origins. I know you’re English, but where does the mix that created such an interesting face with dark complexion and blue icy eyes came from?
David Gandy: Interesting question. The name Gandy is an English name and means “Land owner”. It’s also a popular name in America where there is a Gandy Bridge and Gandy Boulevard.
The dark complexion comes from my great great Grandfather who I resemble in a very strong way. His name was Bruce, so there could be Scottish origins somewhere. In my family everybody has the blue eyes. It’s a very strong gene.
TF: How was your childhood, school days and adolescence? Looking at you is easy to imagine that it was a success, but I read somewhere that you are target of bullying and also had some speech problems, is it true? How did you deal with it?
DG: Obviously I didn’t always look how I do. I went to Billericay comprehensive School and didn’t fit in. I didn’t have many friends and was bullied, but many people are sadly bullied at school, it’s very common. I dealt with it by not conforming and doing exactly what I wanted. This has me very independent and stubborn. I didn’t have any speech problem, just that I spoke with a slightly posh or upper class tone and this didn’t fit in with the rest of the people at my school. But people do not like people who are different or individual.
TF: I imagine that such an experience and the attention you know receive as a male model are completely different realities. How does it affects and influences your personality?
DG: I’m naturally shy, and don’t always like being in front of the camera and having my picture taken, I know that must sound very strange. But now being in the public eye and being recognized I cannot be shy, although I am very reserved still.
TF: What expectations did you have on your early career?
DG: At first I didn’t know what to expect. I was very new to the business, to tentatively felt my way into the industry, but again like school I felt very lonely and independent, but could see the potential. I wanted to head for the top and be the very best or at least achieve things that no male model had before. My expectations are always high in whatever I do.
TF: Which campaigns gave you more pleasure in doing and who were the photographers you must like to work with?
DG: There are so many photographers I have enjoyed working with, especially creative who see things in a vastly different way to myself and surprise me with the results. Mariano Vivanco and Mario Testino are my favorite to work with. Not only are their shoots a pleasure to be a part of but they both capture me in a way other photographers cannot. Obviously Light Blue campaign and commercial has to rate as number one, as without it I would not be where I am today. But the people at Massimo Dutti are like a family to me, so I use to enjoy shooting with them.
TF: Is there someone who never worked with who you wish you could in the future?
DG: Annie Leibovitz.
TF: You are probably a major target of harassment from both the male and female sides. How do you deal with that?
DG: Harassment is too harsh. It’s a pleasure that people want to come and talk and chat or have their photo taken with me.
TF: Tell us the funniest moment caused by such harassments… and the scariest one?
DG: The only is can become a slight pain, is that people do not always appreciate privacy or my space. I may be in a very important conversation or with my family or girlfriend and they literally come in and barge them out of the way to start talking.
TF: Tell me of your personal tastes, hobbies and passions? If you weren’t a model that would you imagine yourself doing professionally?
DG: Cars and interior design are my passions. I am the Car writer for GQ.com do I get to drive some astonishing machines. I’ve just bought a classic mercy 190sl 1958, which is being restored. Fitness is very important to me and I have a Fitness application coming out next year. I also ran the London marathon this year.
TF: Apart from the obvious career success that brought you money, fame and recognition, what else did your career gave you as a value?
DG: The chance to help others. I have brought in photographers and hair stylists onto my shoots that may never have got the chance and they have excelled. But I try to do a lot of charity work. I’m ambassador for Battersea Dogs home and I am also starting my own foundation with Comic Relief next year to engulf the whole of fashion industry into raising money for charity.