David Gandy appears on the cover of British Magazine 'Glass', summer edition. The magazine is known by its sense of clarity and simplicity, lightness and timelessness of curated modern culture focusing on sustainable luxury. Photographed by Roger Rich and and styled by David Nolan, Gandy is coherent with its principles and embodies the inspiration to break the standards of the fashion industry.
Meeting Mr. Gandy
He is ranked as the number one male model in the world, is one of the industry's most recognisable faces and has single-handedly redefined the image of modern man- Glass meets David Gandy
By Nicola Kavanah
G: What is the most common misconception about modelling?
DG: My God, how long have we got? There are misconceptions between male and females, misconceptions about fashion as an industry - and as male models people usually assume you are not very intelligent. I think that goes for all models, especially some female models, super models in fact, who are extremely clever and a lot of the guys are too. But people think you just become a huge brand, a super model purely because of your looks and nothing else - they don't realise that it takes years of branding and strategy by you and your team - a lot of hard work.
There's the Zoolander's out there and 90% of models are quite happy to let their agencies do the whole thing-they het the phone call, it's a job, they don't think anything of it, they go do it and wait for the next job. That's the way a lot of people like it.
But I need to keep my mind stimulated. Travel is great, I absolutely adore it, but it's really the business sense of it I prefer, the structure, the strategy, how we are going further ourselves, run a new company... The shooting is great but I've been shooting for so many years now, I get bored very easily so I like to have input. I say who I want to shoot with and I bring the teams to get effective results which will be pleasing for me. I need to be very careful of my branding and how I'm represented. I also write for GQ and Vogue and The Telegraph and for other things - I like to dip my toes in a lot of things.
The other misconception for models is that you get to a certain age and that's it. But how old is Naomi Campbell? How old is Christy Turlington? She's made an amazing comeback. Simon Clark, known in the men's fashion industry as one of the biggest earners in the world, is over 40 years of age. It's because people don't have access to it, there's so much myth. I think there is an intangible element to modelling and fashion- no one knows much about it, so the misconceptions just carry on and on.
It amazes me to say, everyone still asks me the same questions, day after day. They say,"You can't last forever- you need to do something else."
G: I find models are often asked what else they plan to do, what's the back up option? As though modelling isn't a serious career choice.
DG: Yeah absolutely - that's another great one. As if it's a secondary job. And the next one is, "You must het loads of clothes."
G: And you must get loads of girlfriends...
DG: Yeah! (Laughs) But you laugh them off at the end of the day. That's kind of why when I write for Vogue it actually gives people the chance to ask questions. I'm like, "Write the questions down and I will answer them". It's interesting to see how people's minds work and how they perceive fashion. I believe in giving people answers that are actually the truth instead of things going round in a vicious circle.
G: Tell me about the companies you've founded.
DG: One of them is a production company which invests in British films and I just started a new company called DJG - it's a sole trader which looks after the modelling and business side of my work.
G: Tell me about the film company. You produce short films an apps?
DG: Yes, i created a dressing up app initially as I just thought that we had lost the ability , a few years ago, to dress properly. It's getting better now - we're starting to move away a bit from this dress-down culture. But people were constantly asking me, "Where do you get your clothes? How do you dress?" Peculiar questions, but I almost understood it because there was no information on it for men. Women have an abundance of information, but not men. So I created the David Gandy style app, going back to the very basics of men's styling.
People also asked me about my fitness, my nutrition, my working out, so I created the David Gandy men's health application. But it's actually proved more popular with women! I get these wonderful messages saying 'I've lost 20 lbs, 30lbs". If I get one message from one of those apps, If I've helped one person, I'll be happy.
There is a film investment side to the company. We've done short films with Jaguar, using our team on the production side. And I like to get involved with charities. One charity I started started last year called Blue Steel Appeal raised 270,000 pounds for Comic Relief. I also support Battersea Dogs Home and wounded soldiers. We have to come up with constant ideas about how to raise money, which isn't always the easiest. One of my ideas was celebrity dog walkers - go for a walk with your favourite celebrity - Jeremy Irons, me, Daisy Lowe...
G: You got into modelling by winning a TV model competition but it took a long time before you became a big name. Why do you think that is?
DG: I started with a lot of commercial catalogue work but my aim was always to work with the best creators, the best magazine covers. My idea of a good day is not shooting 23 looks of not very imaginative clothes. People said to me it was risky for me to give up the catalogue work but to me it wasn't a risk - I would have quit otherwise. So there was a strategic decision to go after a big campaign. I dropped all my commercial clients, so at that point there was no money coming in. We did a lot of editorials (it's the magazine editorials which give models the kudos that earns them big advertising campaigns) but still no one wanted to hire me. I was not exactly a freak, but I was not the usual skinny, Dior Homme type skateboarding guy that was popular at the time.
The Light Blue came around (the notorious Dolce & Gabbana fragrance featuring Gandy in nothing but a pair tight, white swimming trunks), then suddenly everyone accepts you and want to work with you. It was great pleasure to tell a few people to bugger off because they hadn't been interested before. Sometime fashion it's like sheep - something works and they they all copy it.
We did that underwear shoot, then suddenly there was the David Beckham underpants campaign and Calvin Klein came out with the man fragrance with all the models in their underwear; the classic man and they're still trying to create it. What Dolce and Gabbana did with that campaign-genius. I always wanted to create something that would last, like the Levi's guys - they were my inspiration. And it worked. But I didn't want to just be known as the guy in the white pants, I wanted to put a name to the face. I was given a platform, and I wanted to give people alternatives from the androgynous look that was popular at the time. That was 2006, that's eight years! It takes a lot of work but, don't get me wrong, I love that side of it, the campaigns, the covers, the different ideas. I want the bring something new to fashion and to be remembered for having helped shake things up a bit.
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Source: Rogerrich.com & Glass Magazine