2014 M&S S/S
We would like to give a very big Thanks to Denise Woodcock from London for being so kind with us and sending us these scans from the latest M&S Magazine. Thank you so much!
We'd like also to give a special Thank You to the girls of David Gandy Fans UK for sharing this wonderful article from the another M&S Magazine version with us. Thanks Ladies!
Launching this month, M&S Collection for men has been developed under the skilled guidance of head of design for menswear Tony O’Connor. Here he talks us thorugh the range, and David Gandy tell us about his involvement as the face of the collection, as well as what inspires him in work and life.
Great news for your other half’s wardrobe, M&S Man has undergone an exciting rebrand and, as of this month, will become the improved M&S Collection. Hot on the hells of the transformation of M&S womenswear last year, head of design for menswear Tony O’Connor and his team have been busy creating a considered edit of timeless pieces that encompass M&S’s core values of quality and innovation. With improved fabrics and superior designs, the refreshed collection is designed to fit seamlessly into an everyday wardrobe, and each item has the bonus of being constructed to last.
The classic cuts that run through the collection of luxury tailoring, everyday pieces and activewear are based on M&S’s iconic shapes, which have a stylish and timeless feel. Tony has worked hard to capture a strong and confident sense of style in the collection, which is modelled by David Gandy. We caught up with Tony to find out more about this exciting new range, and met David to talk about why he’s proud to be associated with M&S, and his life as a model and fashion ambassador.
Tony O’Connor has been designing menswear for retail brands for more than 20 years, and has been head of design for menswear at M&S since 2008. We meet up with him to find out more about the new range.
What have you set out to do with this collection? I’ve been working on a timeless feeling for the M&S Collection, and David and I have had some great collaborative meetings on how he’s going to wear it in our shoot, and what the shoot’s going to look like. We’ve agreed on what sort of style he’s going to convey. I want it to feel like timeless wardrobe classics. M&S Collection is about simple pieces with a really strong essence of style.
Do you design the range with David Gandy in mind?
David is definitely one of my references, but I want to make sure that this brand is worn by all men. David’s a very stylish man, and he’s going to carry it really well. He looks great in everything, but I want M&S Collection to be absorbed by lots of guys. That’s why the pieces feel quite easy to wear and are clean looking and simple. Men can come into M&S and feel satisfied that, it they walk out with something from M&S Collection, they will look stylish in it.
What does David bring to the brand?
I hope David wearing M&S collection will inspire other guys to see how it can be worn and how good they can look in it.
What are the key things that you will be refreshing your wardrobe with this spring?
Some of our deconstructed tailoring and a sports jacket, because that’s a really top look for spring.
What are spring’s key colours?
There’s a new aqua that looks really fresh and confident. It looks especially great teamed with neutrals and whites – which are also key shades for spring – and is a really modern-looking colour. And pink is still a very important colour for this season. We have a strong pink, as well as a softer version.
David Gandy, 33 is one of the world’s top male models, as well as British Fashion Council ambassador. We talked to him about his relationship with M&S, his career and life in fashion.
You’re very involved in Britain retailing. Is it important for you?
I’m very proud to be British. All I see is that we want to drive foreign cars or wear Zara or Abercrombie & Fitch, and here we are with Marks & Spencer, which is an iconic brand and an institution in the UK. I want to support British brands. I’m on the menswear committee for the British Fashion Council and an ambassador for London Collections: Men, and I’m building this relationship with M&S and with new collections. I think we should be more loyal and supportive in the UK. We put ourselves down in this country and don’t shout about what we do well. The rest of the world can see what we do well, but I think we’re a bit blinkered about it. And when we do something amazing, like the Olympics, everyone takes notice, and that’s what I try and push all the time.
How would you define British style?
It’s very individual. I’ve always thought that Britain was the king of individuality. From Carnaby Street to Savile row to the London dandy to Vivienne Westwood. I think we’ve lost a bit of that because of globalization; but I still think, for me, it goes back to tailoring, and we have our heritage here with Savile Row. We started suiting and tailoring. That sartorial Savile Row man is how I see an English gentleman and I don’t think that will ever change.
How did you get into modeling?
I won a television competition after a friend sent in photos to This Morning with Richard and Judy. It was the end of uni and I thought why not, it sounds like a bit of fun. Select [model agency] took me on – even before I won the competition they told me they were going to put me on their books. It was a bit of an adventure; I got to observe the industry over a few years, and thought there could be something in it for me. I wasn’t successful to start with – but I thought modeling could fit in with my desire not to do the same thing every day.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a model?
If I could go back to my six-year-old self, it would probably be something to do with the motor industry or motoring journalism. But the thing is, I review cars for GQ.com and I work with Jaguar. I see all the products that are coming out.
I also collaborate with brands like M&S and they do take my direction seriously, so I get that designing thing. I’ve always been interested in design – if you like fashion, it goes from watches to cars to interiors to clothing.
What are the best things about modeling?
The best thing for me is that no day is the same. That was my aim when I was younger – anything I wanted to do was going to be a job where I wasn’t going to the same office with the same people every day. Today I’m doing this interview, I was shooting last night – I’ve got about five meetings this afternoon, Monday I go to the LA Motor Show for Jaguar, then I’ve got an M&S Collection shoot – and in between all that I’ll be writing for Vogue.com and GQ.com. I get bored very, very easily.
Was it always going to be fashion, or could it have been music or film that would have enabled the lifestyle you wanted?
I haven’t got a bit of musical talent in me, so it was never going to be music. Acting – I’ve doing a few bits, but it’s always fashion related. I have a production company as well, and we’ve done a few fashion-based films for different brands.
Which designers do you admire?
Dolce & Gabbana. Obviously, I work with them and I admire how involved thy still are in their business, which is massive. They make every final decision – even down to the people they want in their runway shows. You see the work ethic of Domenico [Dolce], who does most of the designing. After the men’s show, when all the models come out down the runway and everyone’s clapped, he’ll go ‘Right – womenswear’. And start the next day on the next collection.
You always look stylish – do you style yourself?
Yeah, I do. Not that I ever think. It’s complicated – it’s just about buying a few good things. I get some suits made, but I mix them up with different jackets and trousers. I like to wear designer pieces along with high-street stuff. A friend of mine, who’s a well-known stylish, looks impeccable every time I see him and he doesn’t do it in an expensive way. He puts together designer and high-street very well.
Do you dress differently for day and night?
Every day is different, it depends what I’m doing. Today, I’ve come here in a coat from M&S’s Best of Britain range – I support the brands I’m working with. Night and day are usually separate looks, as they’re two different entities.
Yesterday, I was shooting and I took a suit along to wear in the evening. It was good to get into a three-piece wool suit, as I haven’t worn one for a while because I’ve been always, and I went straight out in it last night.
What are the three items you couldn’t live without?
A good three-piece suit. I prefer the classics over trends; as soon as something becomes trendy I literally chuck it out. Watches, I couldn’t live without. I have too many. It’s an expensive habit, but the right ones hold their value. There’s a history behind the ones I collect, the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon; the TAG Heuer Monaco was the one Steve McQueen wore in his films.
Do you ever make any fashion mistakes?
Yeah, I’m sure everyone does. I think you learn by mistakes. That’s certainly what I’ve done. You learn what you look best in by what doesn’t work. In my uni days, I played so much sport that my fashion sense was just utilitarian, because I was going from training ground to training ground. And I didn’t have much money to spend. I think that puts you in good stead.
What’s your top way to unwind?
Driving. I got my racing licence last year. This year, I was in the Mille Miglia – a 1000km race around Italy. I did it with Yasmin Le Bon – she’s done more races than me. You race a 1950s classic car round normal roads with normal traffic. I don’t get scared; adrenalin kicks in.
Do you have any memories of M&S as a child?
Many. My mum dragging me into the underwear department to buy underwear. Hers, not mine! I remember being absolutely traumatized by that. I got to 10 and said, ‘Mun, I’m not doing this any more. I’ll be in the corner eating Percy Pigs’.
In the sixth from at school, we didn’t wear uniform, I remember I went into M&S and bought a green V-neck. Everyone loved it and asked ‘Where did you get that from?’ When I said M&S, another four guys went and bought it, so we were all walking round in the same jumper.
I’ve always enjoyed saying something’s from M&S and changing brand perception, even back then. And here I am today, still working with that brand and trying to do the same thing and change that perspective, because people don’t believe I wear M&S clothes.