Wednesday, July 17, 2013

David Gandy hosts Johnnie Walker and Sons Voyager's events in London

The Johnnie Walker and Sons Voyager, a 1920s-styled yacht, which set sail in Shanghai in September, travelled around Asia for six months before starting its European leg in May from Portofino, Italy. Its final stop will be Edinburgh, the birthplace of the brand almost two centuries ago, but before, it will be in London for a few days. The yacht, finally docked on Monday July 15th at Butler’s Wharf, near Tower Bridge. And David Gandy, as its Johnnie Walker Blue Label ambassador, alongside Diageo, will be hosting events on board, from brand experiences to mentoring sessions aimed at "celebrating Europe's place as the home of progress and innovation".

Pic Source:  Facebook/OfficialDavidGandy

David Gandy's busy schedule for this event started on Monday morning, July 15, when he granted several interviews on board.

On Tuesday he hosted a drinks reception and a summer party on the enormous yacht, inviting friends from the fashion world including the wonderful Charlotte Tilbury and Jonathan Saunders as he has mentioned on his Official Facebook.
David Gandy and Olivia Cole host a dinner on board (L) and Mr. Gandy with Musician Ben Hudson (R)
 David Gandy with Charlotte Tilbury (L) and with Joanna Renwick (R)
  David Gandy with Richard Sadler and Nick Jeffries of Nubuilds   
David Gandy with Natalia Barbieri (Bionda Castana)     
The next morning, July 17, the events continued with a breakfast on board and scheduled for that evening The Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Party Celebration.

------------- David Gandy Interviewed by ----------------
Sharp Notes: David Gandy 

David Gandy has come a long way since that Dolce & Gabbana ad. Cathy Adams chats to him about BlackBerry dependence, racing cars and top tailors…

David Gandy is aboard the John Walker & Sons Voyager, a luxury 1920s yacht moored in Butler’s Wharf on the Thames. He is a brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, and is currently feeling the after-effects of a particularly boozy party the night before on the same yacht. He is talking about epic journeys and game-changing experiences, something the 33-year-old supermodel has had a lot of since his rise to fame cavorting about on the Mediterranean in a dingy in a shoot promoting the Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ fragrance.
Since that assignment with D&G, Gandy has been a staple in the London style world, working with Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera and Massimo Dutti among others.
But he’s not just a pretty face. Gandy also blogs for Vogue, and writes car reviews for GQ. This year he took part in the Mille Miglia car race in Italy with fellow supermodel Yasmin Le Bon. He and Le Bon came 158th out of 418 cars in the three-day event that passes through almost 200 Italian towns including Rome and Brescia.
As well as being a global ambassador for Johnnie Walker, he’s on the panel for London Collections: Men, selling the look of the most beautiful man in the world to the masses. We chat to him about his personal style and what he has his sights on at the moment.

On my wrist
Right now it’s a Chopard from the Mille Miglia race I took part in around Italy this summer. When you complete the 1,000-mile race, Chopard gives you a watch engraved with your competition number. I have quite an extensive watch collection now – but cars and watches is a very expensive habit!

In my hand
There are so many things. People joke that in every picture of me there’s a BlackBerry, but that’s it. It’s the new Q10, and everything I do is run from that. I simply couldn’t do without it. I don’t really take any pictures with my phone. I should really document more, but when you do, it’s just of everyday life – so I do forget to take a lot of pictures.

On my radar
Suit makers Thom Sweeney. It’s a couple of young guys based in Mayfair, and they’ve just done their ready-to-wear range, which I think will be sold exclusively via Mr Porter. They’re impeccable, and I would honestly say they are the best tailors in the world.

In my sights
All of my energy at the moment is going into refurbishing an old Victorian house. It’s two floors at the moment, and we’re building it up to four floors. I am also restoring a 1960s Mercedes-Benz. There is no new technology involved at all – I’m doing it totally originally. They are both quite big projects and I really don’t know why I’ve decided to take them on at the same time in my life!

In my wardrobe
Can I say Thom Sweeney again? I’ve worn one suit to death – it was made for London Collections: Men. But my other favourite item of clothing is a Dolce & Gabbana driving jacket – that I almost said no to. I wore it for an interview, and I just haven’t been out of it. Everybody always asks if I worked for D&G, and I would reply: “No, I do Dolce & Gabbana,” as they used to be two completely separate entities. But now they’ve got rid of D&G and it’s just Dolce & Gabbana. It’s still the same label, but it means I don’t have to explain it every time. 

On my travelsLuggage-wise, I have a selection of bags as it depends how much I travel and how long I’m away for. I have bags that start very small and get bigger and bigger. Coach is usually my choice of luggage, and they do some astounding bags for men. You have to be quite careful because you don’t want it to look like a man bag, so it’s got to be a good, masculine brown. Coach are my people for this at the moment.

In my dreamsI’d love a car to race in the Mille Miglia. I’d probably go for a Jaguar and keep the Britishness. Jaguar is known for its development in the Mille Miglia, including pioneering the disc-brake. Owning a pre-1960 Jaguar is my dream at the moment – a proper racing model. I was looking at them just the other day, but I think I’ll leave it for at least a couple of years!
In my pastMy Omega Speedmaster is broken at the moment and I need to get it fixed. It’s small and quite rare, and I found it on eBay when I had a little bit of money and thought I’d treat myself. But when I was on a job once I took it off and put it in my trouser pocket. The stylist was tidying everything up later, and I just saw it flying through the air before it smashed on the floor. It hasn’t been quite right since. I miss it, so I should really take it off and get it fixed. Of all the watches I own it’s probably the cheapest one – it was on eBay for goodness sake – but at the same time it’s the one that always reminds me of what I worked for.

On my agendaI have a go-to list of restaurants in London: Eight Over Eight on the King’s Road, and I have an Italian I like near to my new house. That’s why I’ve decided to stay in Fulham, as it’s where all my favourite restaurants are. I’d also love to take my niece and nephews to see a London show. They live in Spain, but they’re at that age where they would love to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

On my bucket listI’d love to break a land speed record, which I’m looking to do next year with Morgan in one of its three-wheelers. The record is around 150-200mph, and I’ve driven around 120mph in a three-wheeler before. There’s an ice-speed record too – so breaking a record is on my bucket list for the moment.
----------- David Gandy Interviewed by The Luxury Channel --------------
Being the world’s only male supermodel with film star looks must surely make one just a little self-assured! However, when The Luxury Channel meets David Gandy, aboard the John Walker & Sons Voyager, he couldn’t have been more down to earth. He even laughs at my unfunny jokes (and trust me, that’s going way beyond the call of duty!). We’re on board the Voyager yacht because Gandy’s role as an ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky means he just so happens to be co-hosting a party to celebrate all that is good about the amber nectar. “Johnnie Walker is a very high-end brand and I’m quite an advocate for anything British,” he tells me, as we sit sipping Johnnie Walker cocktails, looking over the panorama of Tower Bridge. “We went to the Cardhu distillery, and then we went to the Diageo castle, which was a lot of fun, as you can imagine, so it was good. The lovely thing is, the master blender is called Jim Beveridge – I’m absolutely not making this up! When I met him, I was like, really? But when you learn all about the whisky, you have a different appreciation for it. You can suddenly taste it. They’ve got [the whisky] downstairs [on the Voyager], and they have all the different flavours and they go, what does this taste like? You go, I have no idea! But downstairs, there’s figs and dates and pineapple, and then suddenly you smell them and you can taste them in the whisky, and it makes you appreciate it so much more.” Gandy may now be sitting pretty as the co-host of an exclusive celebrity party, but his rise to super stardom was probably a little less conventional than many people realise, after he was unknowingly entered into a nationwide modeling competition. Despite winning, his career didn’t take off overnight, but he freely admits that may have been a good thing. “For the first five years, even though I was doing a lot of commercial work, it was very observational for me,” he reflects. “It was probably a great learning curve.” Even the advert for which he is probably best known (yes ladies, that 2006 Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue ad), came about due to a bit of good old-fashioned blagging and orchestration on his part. “It hasn’t been easy,” he says of his career trajectory, “but it’s been an adventure. But anything that’s easy isn’t very exciting.” Although becoming successful has brought its own unexpected rewards. “Guys are always coming up to me and saying, how do you get to where you are and do you have any advice? It’s really, really nice,” he smiles. “But I never know where to start because it’s been a thirteen year progression, so there’s no magic formula!” Today, Gandy is a firm favourite on the fashion circuit, and his place in history was cemented when he took part in the London Olympics closing ceremony as the only male model. “The Olympics were just phenomenal,” he enthuses. “Being typical Brits, we were all a bit skeptical about the Olympics and not very excited, but they turned out to be brilliant.” As well as the day job, he writes and edits for various publications, and is an ambassador for several organisations, including, as you might expect, for London Collections: Menswear. As LC:M grows in stature and popularity, is image something men should be more aware of? “The British have never been the best,” he confesses. “If you look at Europe – the Italian men and the Parisian men – they’re very aware of their image, and they’re very high-end. British men have probably been a bit behind them. It’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong; I don’t think it’s great to take everything so seriously in fashion. I think that’s proved now with LC:M, it’s just getting more and more powerful. We have McQueen, we have Burberry, we have Tom Ford and it’s going from strength to strength. But you can see it in the street. There’s guys walking around in very colourful trousers and T-shirts, and there’s this individuality, which London always started off. I really think we’ll be the number one male fashion capital in the world in a few years.” He laughs and then adds, “Milan and Paris are getting a little bit worried!” One of the other organisations Gandy is an ambassador for is Battersea Dogs And Cats Home. “I was there today,” he says. Interestingly, despite being a lover of dogs, Gandy isn’t a dog owner, so where then does his love of dogs come from? “I don’t know,” he admits. “I think you either have a love of dogs, or you don’t – you just have a love of animals. I got a kennel sponsored for me as a birthday present a few years ago. I walked into Battersea and said, can I help out in any other way? So I went on to become an ambassador. That’s why I was there today, because we have the Coats & Collars Ball in November so we were thinking of how to raise money.” The idea that looks like a winner may be familiar to those who keep a close eye on Gandy’s charity work. “Something we did for my charity, the Blue Steel Appeal, was a celebrity dog walk. We did one-off prizes and events, and Simon and Yasmin Le Bon very kindly did a dog walk in Richmond Park, which raised a hell of a lot of money. So I said to Battersea, why not do the same thing? So I think that’s the way we’re going to go with that, so you can have a dog walk with a very famous celebrity or a sportsman and their dog. So yeah, hugely involved with it. People think it’s strange I don’t have a dog, but what I’m trying to push is responsible ownership. I take ninety flights a year, and even when I’m in London I’m working, so I would not be a responsible dog owner.” So how about when he gives up the modeling? “Yeah, one day, of course, absolutely!” he smiles. “I’ll have five dogs, believe me, I really will!” Philanthropy, it would seem, is something very close to Gandy’s heart. As well as the Blue Steel Appeal and his work for Battersea, he is also an ambassador for Style For Soldiers, a charity that supplies luxury goods to injured military personnel founded by Jermyn Street shirt-maker Emma Willis. “I think it’s a necessity,” he muses when I ask him about his charity work. “If you’re in the public eye and you can raise money in that way, then you should do it – it’s not an option. There’s people who don’t and that’s up to them, I suppose, but we try to encourage those people. But sometimes, you need a platform and then once you build that platform, people will join in.” Flying all over the world to work with the biggest names in the fashion industry must surely have exposed him to some of the most extraordinary luxuries in the world, so I’m curious to know what his favourite luxury is. “My favourite luxury?” he considers, thinking. “Right okay, I’ll try not to disappoint. I don’t know what my favourite luxury is. This could be something stupid! I have two very expensive habits – watches and cars. I’m renovating a 1960s Mercedes Benz at the moment. That is a luxury. It’s a very expensive luxury that I’m regretting!” he laughs. “The only other thing is my watches – I’ve got quite a good watch selection.” I tell him I’ve had watches before when I’ve asked other people this question. “But not a Mercedes? Go with that one, then. I don’t want to disappoint with something unoriginal!” As the world’s only male supermodel, being unoriginal is surely something Gandy doesn’t need to worry about. His crown as undisputed king of the catwalk doesn’t show any sign of slipping just yet.


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