David Gandy,34, is Britain's most famous male model. His big break came in a Dolce & Gabbana advert when he looked ludicrously sexy in trunks.
by: Naomi Mdudu
by: Naomi Mdudu
You got raunchy with Jennifer Lopez in her latest music video. Was it as steamy on set as it looked?
I don't want to spoil people's vision of what it was like but no, it really wasn't. We were shooting a 16-hour day and rolling around the floor on the desert. The conditions were hard. We were both shivering for hours and were absolutely battered by the winds and covered in mud. We were with a crew of about 25 people, to, so yeah. I'm glad it looked that way.
You write newspaper columns, blog and you're a fashion ambassador. What occupation do you give when you go through customs?
I say I'm a model. I'm probably one of the few guys who is proud to say that but that's what has given me the opportunities to do all these great projects. You have actors who started as models who criticise modelling and the fashion industry. I've always wondered why they do that.
There's a bit of a stereotype about male models though, isn't there... it comes from the fact they're not taken seriously. Male models are an easy target to have the mickey taken out of. Did you set out to change that?
Definitely. When I started it was an industry that was all about the women and they earned a lot more than the guys. I was up against the female supermodels/ They were the pinnacles for me. They were earning huge amounts of money and that's what I wanted. Now I'm up there with what the girls earn and I have all the contracts and am in control. It's my image and my brand, so I have to be careful of what I shoot.
What does brand David Gandy stand for, then?
There's this masculinity, this man that people like seeing-- just think 1960's porn and images of Steve McQueen. They were very proud about being men and that's been lost somewhere. That's why I'm so into my cars, my racing and suits. It's all about glamour and being proud to be a man and being proud to shop at Savile Row. The man has been diminished a little bit and I suppose that's what I stand for.
You were the only male model in the Olympics closing ceremony. There still isn't another big name on the scene...
I probably can't name another model who has done what I have. There are better looking models, guys with better bodies and guys with more charisma and charm than me but a lot of them aspire to go into acting. It's a lot more work than people realise.
You've become quite the British fashion ambassador...
I'm very proud to be British. I love Savile Row, so I try to get awareness for those guys and it's tradition. We invented suits. We invented tailoring and bespoke but people forget that. We never shout about things we do well. It's about time we did.
Where does the problem lie?
We don't invest as much as the rest of the world. That's why we don't have a motoring industry any more. We had these amazing brands Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Mini and they all got sold off to foreign investors. It's happening with in fashion, too. Half of Savile Row is Asian owned. Why do we have these great talents and sell them off? That needs to change.
You clearly have strong opinions. Do you ever get frustrated that the focus is always on your looks?
Sometimes I feel people think I'm just a model. It is frustrating sometimes. I do feel like I have to go into a spiel about what I do. Sometimes you have journalists whose job it is to interview you who clearly don't have a clue who you are or what you do,so ask very mundane and silly questions. I have to say:'Oh, I've done this,' and they're like: ' Oh that's amazing,' and I'm thinking: 'If you just had a look at Google you'd be amazed what you can find.'