Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Interview Update: David Gandy for STM Magazine (August 2012)

Very special thanks to Maja Stubkjaer from Denmark for being so kind and sending us these scans.
Even though this interview is similar to the one you can find in our Live Magazine (June 2012) post, there are small changes in the content and we decided to offer you the possibility of reading them both. 


STM Magazine
Brawn to Rule
Why the world’s top male model wants more
Story: Louise Gannon
Photographer: Ian Derry

 He's the world's top male supermodel who featured in the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. But there's more to David Gandy than just a pretty face.

It is, perhaps, not surprising that David Gandy, universally considered to be the best-looking man on the planet and the world’s only male supermodel, knows exactly how to make an entrance. Speeding through the private airfield in his navy Jaguar XJS, Dolce & Gabbana shades covering his eyes, he swerves neatly into a parking space (he’s been trained as a racing driver by Mazda and Jaguar) and steps out like a throwback to those ‘80s Levi’s models, all rippling muscle, dark hair and double denim.

“I ski like a madman and drive like I’ve just stolen a car,” he says. “I like speed. I like the challenge.”
This could be a bit of a Zoolander moment – the Ben Stiller comedy that so perfectly skewered the inanity of modelling profession – but the world’s most successful male model is clearly conscious that having a perfect body, towering height (1,90m), Caribbean sea-blue eyes and knifw-sharp cheekbones, isn’t actually the way to win friends.

A photographic assistant is waiting at a bus stop 800m sown the road. Gandy immediately offers to pick him up and a couple of hours into shooting, several minions have been given the keys to mess around in his cars (he’s arranged for a Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster to turn up for a test drive). He is one of the only people who can work the hi-tech drinks machine on site, so he is required to make coffee after coffee.

Later he says: “I have a fortunate placing of bones and muscles that enables me to do what I do. It’s the reason I work. It’s not a reason I’m better than anyone else.”

“To be honest, I don’t think I’m that great-looking. At school I wasn’t the guy who got the girls or who was thought to be hot. I didn’t have a girlfriend ‘til I was 21, which is pretty late. I was a loner. All I saw in the mirror was a big nose and a slightly chubby boy. I was ridiculously shy around girls.”
“I remember being in awe of this guy at university who could just talk to anyone. I still think if a guy wants girls, it’s more about the gift of the gab than the way you look. In my head I still think of myself as I was at 15 or 16.” 

For the record, he still doesn’t have gratuitous sex with gorgeous girls. “I’ve only had three serious relationships, “ he reveals.

Surely it’s impossible not to get sucked into that supermodel vacuum of narcissism, arrogance, mobile phone throwing and absolute superiority over the rest of the less attractive human race? He raises an eyebrow.

“You see it – I don’t get on with Gisele (Bündchen). We don’t see eye to eye, we argue and we don’t enjoy working with each other [they had to shot three campaigns together]. Like I say, we are very privileged but what we do isn’t saving lives, it isn’t brain surgery. And I’m not going to get on with anyone who takes it for granted or thinks they’re someone special. “

“My advice to any young model is very simple. Just don’t believe your own hype.”

Like Bündchen, Gandy’s look and body have brought him wealth. In a woman’s world, he’s fought hard to carve a brand. “I didn’t start off as David Gandy," he laughs. "After the first D & G Light Blue commercial I was known as the ' White Pants Guy.'

The ad, featuring sun, sea and lots of semi naked body shots, turned him into a world wide phenomenon with 11 million internet hits within day one of its launch.

"My agency would have calls to get the 'White Pants Guy.' It took me a bit of time before people started putting a name to the pants." he laughs.

David Beckham was among those who were clearly impressed ( his white pants-clad Armani commercials owed more than a nod to Gandy's underwear drawer).

"I wish him, Jude Law and Brad Pitt would stick to their day jobs, " says Gandy. "It's hard enough for male models as it is, so give us a chance, boys. Butt out." he grins. " I have to admit, though, Beckham is good. I'm a fan of Brand Beckham."

Gandy is also doing well. At 32, he earns about $750,00 a year. Not bad for a model, but in comparison Gisele earned $22.5 million in 2011.

"A part of me does think 'Why is this? What can I do about it? Why is it that the female models get paid four times as much as a male model for a campaign they are
both in?'

"I absolutely respect the way the girls view themselves. They turn up with their financial guys, their managers, their agents. They'll work seriously hard at keeping themselves in top shape and at being a brand. It's always been a female industry and a lot of the male models have tended to treat the whole thing as a bit of a joke, not thinking of it as a business."

"I was never going to do that. But it's just a fact in this industry that the women earn more than the men. While the top female models fly first class or business, the guys fly ecomony. I can't tell you the amount of long flights I've done with absolutely no sleep at all and then had to walk off a plane on to a shoot. It's only on the last year or so I've been put up front on the plane."

These days, however, Gandy has celebrity status, beautiful girls (he dated singer Mollie King and is now seeing model Sarah Ann Macklin) a jet-set lifestyle and business interests that run into a production company and investments in films such as The Number Station staring John Cusack, which will be released next year.

"It's a British film," he says "I'm very much into supporting quality British products. We should be proud of what we produce."

He could be talking about himself. As a model, Gandy has achieved the unachievable on two fronts. First, he's made himself an international name with jelly-legged admirers ranging from Demi Moore to Megan Fox. Second, he's changed the face of male modeling by reintroducing the classic combo of "sex-n-pecs" back into a world that had become filled with super skinny androgynous teens.

"I spent years just working as a catalogue model because I was too big for most clothes," he says "I can't tell you the amount of times I'd hear that awful rip as I pulled on a pair trousers or a jacket. There was no way my basic body shape would fit into those incredibly tiny clothes. That was the look: super-skinny rock star.

"I made good money as a catalogue model. I had a nice life and a long career ahead of me. But I wasn't happy. You have to have some creative satisfaction and I felt I wasn't going as far as I could. People would look at me and say, 'You're too good looking for a model' it was all a bit strange."

"You have a choice in life. You try to fit in and follow the crowd or you do you own thing and do it the best you can. I decided I was just going to go out on a limb. I went to my model agency and told them to drop all my clients. No more catalogues, no more commercial work. I wanted to do serious campaigns."

What was the reaction? He laughs

"No more money and one hell of a blazing row. I had a stand-up fight with my agent but she ended up saying she'd totally support me. In a lot of ways it seemed mad. I had a nice flat, a nice car, a nice career but it wasn't what I knew it could be or should be."

Born in working-class Essex, Gandy is decidedly proud of his roots. His father, Chris, left school at 14 and with his mother, Brenda, built up a successful freight and property company. His grandfather, James, worked for the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Number 10.

"He was just one of her staff but she was very fond of him. She use to drive him mad because she'd always called him Jimmy not James. Ronald Reagan used to call him Jimmy, too. My sister and I had our photo taken outside Number 10. I was wearing these hand-me-down track suite bottoms. It was all my parents could afford."

As a teenager Gandy did work experience for Auto Express magazine and was asked to stay on, picking up and dropping off cars. he now writes a car column for GQ.

He studied photography, " It's my business," he says "If you don't learn about what you do how are you going to try to be the best?"

Still by 2005 he was just a hopeful male model with no jobs coming in after ditching his bread and butter catalogue work. Told by many to lose weight he went to the gym, exercised and got bigger and bigger, honing a look based on the classic icons he looked up to , from Steve McQueen to Paul Newman.
The same year his agent heard of a meeting between a photographer friend and the fashion giants Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who were looking to cast someone for their new men's fragrance.

"I'm more a believer in making you own luck than just luck," he says.

So Gandy turned up at the restaurant to say "hello" and the designers realized that the tanned, honned, 100 per cent macho Gandy would make a massive splash.

"I was on a plane, jumping in the water, making that commercial within a matter of days. That was the beginning. I went from being the big guy you couldn't book to the 'White Pants Guy'.

Now he is the undisputed world NO.1 male model with a long career in front of him.

"The downside is the girls earn more, the upside is guys work longer," he says.

He trains 45 minutes a day, eats anything but saturated fats and white processed food and -being known for being macho- doesn't have to worry too much about messing up his face. He got a scar by his right eye after a drunken night in New York where an equally drunk friend accidentally slammed his face in a car door.
His interests are all a bit James Bond: cars, watches ( he has an old Omega and TAG Monaco, as worn by Steve McQueen, and a '70's Breitling) and antique furniture, which he turns into modern pieces.

"I collect huge French clocks and old carpenters' consoles, which I turn into tables," he says.

He has interior-designed several properties. His idea of a holiday is not a Caribbean beach but trekking with gorillas in Rwanda.

"I'm probably not what most people think but, then again, I hope that's a good thing," he says.

But right now he is focused solely on work. His nine month relationship to King ended because they rarely saw each other.
"I was really sad about it," he says. "But you do have to focus on work. I have to spend these years building a business for my future. Then I can relax."

1 comments:

thanks so much for the up date !!! love it and appreciated !!!

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