Monday, May 13, 2013

David Gandy hosts the Launch of Johnnie Walker and Sons Voyager in Portofino

On May 9th, 2013, the arrival of John Walker & Sons Voyager, took place in Portofino, Italy. And to celebrate this event, the luxury yacht is hosting, from yesterday until today, a series of  events designed to celebrate Portofino’s story of progress over the last century and to recognize a series of Italian ‘Game Changers’.

The 1920s-style sailing yacht's visit was hosted by Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ambassador, David Gandy, the world’s leading male model  who will be joined by John Kennedy President of Diageo, Western Europe, and Matt Barwell Consumer Marketing and Innovation Director for Diageo Western Europe, at the launch of this epic European journey.
Commenting on his appearance on board, David Gandy said: “It’s a privilege to join John Walker & Sons Voyager on its arrival in Portofino and celebrate the start of this great adventure. As the J. W. Blue Label Ambassador I’m honoured to be part of this creative and innovative campaign and to celebrate the achievements of Game Changers from across the region.

As a part of the activities which take place place on board, several Game Changers including David Gandy will be sharing their own stories of progress in a modern reinterpretation of Around the World – one of the first luxury travel guides commissioned by the House of Walker almost 100 years ago -.  David Gandy will author the opening chapter on Portofino.

David Gandy with John Kennedy (left), Diageo President of Western Europe & Matt Barwell, Marketing Director (right), Diageo Western Europe 



Ph: Tim Bishop/Diageo PLC
Source: &

A star model in fashion.
David Gandy and the luxury classic sailing yacht 

By Silvia Cutuli / MyTime Italy (September 2013)

Perhaps it’s his intense gaze penetrating the camera lens, or his smile framed by his big blue eyes or even his muscular body. The fact is that David Gandy, who started off as a model for fun, ended up dictating the international fashion system, even revolutionizing it. It was not easy, in the early 2000s, to reawaken the dormant fashion world focused on a male ideal of beauty and youth.

But the British super model soon changed the rules of the game, all he did was just make a spot, for Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance, appearing in a candid bathing costume. “Game changer” in fashion like in life, David Gandy’s daring spirit seems to embrace the values of the prestigious Scottish brand of whisky, Johnnie Walker, who elected him brand ambassador in addition to host of the Italian leg of the “John Walker & Sons Voyager”. An elegant 1920s-style yacht, sailing along the epic routes through which whisky travelled from Scotland to the four corners of the world, with its first European stop in beautiful Portofino. 

And that is where David Gandy greets us, on board.

An Englishman who loves Italy, when did it become love at first sight?

“When I was younger I used to spend my holidays with my family in Italy, then I returned several times for some advertising campaigns like the one I did for Dolce & Gabbana’s perfume “Light Blue” (done in Capri, editor’s note). I have always had a particular feeling for Italy, where I have discovered some fascinating places. How can you not be astonished in front of Portofino’s panorama! I had already been to Liguria, Santa Margherita Ligure, but I had never stopped here. I hope I shall be able to return because I absolutely love Italy”.

Was it your dream, your goal to become famous in the fashion world?

“I have never seen fashion as my job, and during University (a degree in Marketing at Gloucester University - editor’s note) my family enrolled me in a modelling competition, almost for fun, but I then started working seriously. I soon realized that my future would have been in fashion, in 2006, when I started to love this world, also thanks to the fortune in meeting Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. That was the turning point of my career. And here is where Italy comes back into it! I found a warm public here, who follow me during the men’s fashion week in Milan and I have even become very easily recognizable!”.

How much did you learn from the fashion designers you work for, and how much comes from your personal taste?

“My reference style icons are men like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen... I share their passion for motors, which is also reflected in “an unconventional manner” of dressing. I like wearing “biker” style leather jackets and I must confess that my spare time uniform is jeans and a T-shirt. A man doesn’t need much to get a good image, the secret is to look sure of yourself”.

You look at ease in your role of host in the “John Walker & Sons Voyager”...

“I’d say even more: this yacht is my dream! I love going on boats, ever since I was a child and spent my holidays on them with my family. It’s a world that belongs to me and I like it, I find it a very relaxing experience. For this reason I feel honoured to be the brand ambassador on this glamorous boat. Besides, I think I too have that visionary spirit with which Alexander Walker in 1897 asserted himself as “game changer” in the universe of whisky (the new blend “John Walker & Sons Odyssey was made in his honour, in an original decanter with a swinging movement editor’s note). I think I did the same in the field of fashion, my image shocking the reference beauty standards in the fashion system which at the time preferred to see a youthful and androgynous male image”.

The American Forbes magazine in 2009 indicated you as being one of the three most successful models in the world, marking a future change in the fashion icons...

“The fashion world changes and it renews itself, I too have changed during the course of my career though I never strayed from my original targets. This is my third campaign for the “Light Blue” fragrance. When I did the first one I had no idea of the fortune it would have bought me, and this led me to the success that followed!”


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