Thursday, December 19, 2013

David Gandy for Esquire Mexico (December 2013)

David Gandy, the leading british supermodel from Select, granted an interview for the Latin-american edition of Esquire Magazine. With the unmistakable background of Milan's streets and under the profesional lens of the international photographer John Russo, this splendid street session in which David Gandy is once more the Italian man suited up in Dolce & Gabbana along with an interesting interview which looks back at his beginnings, his present and next projects.

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Shoot by John Russo

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Written by Gerardo Monroy
The term super model emerged in the nineties with five of the most beautiful women that have worked in the industry: Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington. They all turned their name into a brand and transcended the boundaries of fashion: they became icons. In fact, the word was not coined to be used in the male sector. But the clearest example of intelligence and business acumen required to remain in place in a highly changing industry is undoubtedly Britain's David Gandy. No wonder his image has been on billboards in Times Square and he had an appearance in the closing of the Olympic Games in London. After an elegant photo shoot in Milan exclusively for Esquire Mexico, David talks about his beginnings and projects.

Esquire: How did your career begin?

David Gandy: A college roommate sent my photos to a TV competition, I won and that is how it all started. When I say that I have 13 years modeling that is summarized, as I do more than just modeling. These days I play more of a role of ambassador for brands and I don't do many photo shoots, but I continue to do covers: this year I did around 15 and last year I managed 23 worldwide. Modeling is still my daily bread, but everything else has shifted.

Esquire: Did you ever think you'd get this far?

David Gandy: I think that's what you aspire to. I always wanted to be on top of my profession. I consider models, actors and musicians, especially nowadays, should learn to recognize their strengths and weaknesses to get far. I remember in my early years of modeling, most of the work was commercial and not necessarily what I wanted to do, but now I realize that those years were of much observation. It helped me learn the industry and know how it worked, and to then achieve my involvement and get to where I wanted. These days I continue with the agency with which I began ... I would not be with anyone else.

Esquire: Were you always interested in fashion or was it something that came with your work?

David Gandy: I'm not sure I acquired this interest naturally. I think we are all interested in fashion to some extent because, otherwise, how would choose the clothes we buy and what we wear every day? My interest was never great, but it certainly has grown over 13 years of work. I've always had a fascination and eye for interior design and car bodies. Great designers like Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana design are not confined to the boundaries of fashion, but they transcend to buildings, interiors, watches and many other things.

Esquire : In the world of modeling it is common to see new faces , which become popular for a while and then disappear completely. With a steady path as yours, what do you think it takes to stay?

David Gandy : You must know how to build a brand. You can not rest on your laurels, you must be in constant change and movement, know how to seize opportunities when they arise. The biggest challenge today is the higher brands of clothes hiring movie stars and athletes as an image and not necessarily models. They use the name and recognition that these personalities have already built. I worked to build my brand, so that the name David Gandy signifies what it is today. I say that there are not to many jobs and I am very careful with what I do. It is always more important what you reject than what you accept. It's highly strategic: people believe that occurs naturally, but in reality there is much thought and consideration behind it.

Esquire: Many people think that the world of fashion is superficial and they see the models as just pretty faces.

David Gandy: It's a naive way of thinking. The fashion industry is very closed and not necessarily tangible. These days, magazines are doing a great job in trying to change this view. I write for The Telegraph, and some other publications, and contributed to change that idea. The vision many people have of male models is something like in the Zoolander film, and that does not help us much. There are many intelligent models that have built an empire with their name.

Esquire: How do you choose the topics you write about in these publications?

David Gandy: All publications give me a lot of freedom. For men's magazines I write mostly about cars and the models that I would like to try or have. There always has to be a relationship with fashion in what I write, but I try to focus my writing on design and art.

Esquire: Where does your passion for cars come from?

DG: Since I was little. I do not know who I inherited it from, since neither my parents or grandparents were interested in them. I had a journal on classical models in my hand almost since I learned to walk, and I love collecting some classics. Now I'm remodeling a 1950's Mercedes Benz.

Esquire: How was your experience running the legendary Mille Miglia?

DG: Awesome. I had the opportunity to drive a 1950's Jaguar with my friend Yasmin Le Bon in the heart of Italy, and ended in a good position. I hope to do next year.

Esquire: You're the Dolce & Gabbana man, how did you meet Stefano and Domenico?

DG: Early in my career I was selected for one of their shows. I did not see them for five years, nor had communication with them. But during a birthday party for Mariano Vivanco, a photographer who works closely with them and has taken the photos of much of my book, I connected with them again and they selected me as the image of their campaign. Since then we have had a very good relationship, and in 2006 we began negotiations for Light Blue.

Esquire: How was it working with model Bianca Balti and photographer Mario Testino for the campaign of that fragrance?

DG: Bianca is the perfect Lady Blue, she has a stunning Mediterranean beauty, she is the ideal Italian woman. Testino is a good friend of mine and I've worked with him in the past. This time the weather was not on our side, the sea was very choppy, but it was a very good experience and we had fun.

Esquire: How did the idea for the book made in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana arise?

DG: It was initially an idea of Domenico Dolce and in reality did not seem very appealing. This is a compilation of all my work with them and with Mariano Vivanco. My condition in accepting was that the profits generated were to go an Italian charity. To Domenico that seemed a good idea and we finished it up in a couple of months.

Esquire: How was the selection of the charity made?

DG: It is related to the Italian arts. For Stefano and Domenico art and design are extremely important, so I left that decision in their hands and did a great job.

Esquire: You've entered the world of mobile applications. Tell us about it.

DG: The two things that people always ask me are about fitness and personal style, so I decided to make applications in this regard. We live in a digital world where it is increasingly common to have all on one device without printed paper. I was always intrigued by the world of apps, and I think that is the best way to get information to as many people as possible.


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