Monday, September 22, 2014

Meeting David Gandy (by Victoria Isa Daniel)

We would like to give a very special Thank You to Victoria Isa Daniel from Carlow (Ireland) for sending us the touching story of her exciting adventure to meet David Gandy at M&S Flagship Store in Dublin last Thursday. Thank You for being so kind and Congratulations!


On my birthday of 9th of September I was surfing the web as I do every evening around 8pm. Suddenly I came across a campaign of David Gandy for Autograph. I reflected back to the time when I first laid my eyes on the British supermodel, it was the month of May where he made a guest appearance on my favorite late television show “Alan Carr Chatty Man” I was in awe by him. David was a pure English gentleman; he looked elegant and sophisticated in his three piece grey suit. He was so entertaining to watch and soon became my favorite male model; even so I bought the D&G perfume he had promoted.

Through the months, I have admired David and his lifestyle and have become a fan of his work. His name became very well known and I considered him to be the most successful and well known supermodel of 2013 onwards. Referring back to my laptop it said that he was going to launch his new underwear collection in M&S called David Gandy for Autograph. I scanned through the promotional video and the line, it was amazing to see Gandy work hand in hand with designers to form the product and then model it. His Facebook soon showed where he would be to promote his collection, and to my surprise one of them was Ireland! I was delighted with the news and was determined to show up for the meet and greet.

The day soon came, the 18th of September, my plans to get to Grafton Street by 12:30 the time Gandy started the meet and greet was sabotaged by the times of the train from where I lived into the city. As I am a student, I left school at the earliest I could and traveled 2 hours with my mother on the train to Dublin to meet David Gandy, the British Gentleman of the Century. I had told my close friends about my journey and they knew how long I have talked on and on about him! It felt like a late birthday present.

When we arrived in Dublin it was 12:50 and it was typical Irish weather - dark and gloomy with rain falling from the clouded sky. My mother and I took the luas quickly to Abbey Street and raced to Grafton Street arriving outside M&S for 1:20. To my disappointment the line was closed and they wouldn’t let anyone else in. A steam of disappointment clouded my face. Just a few seconds ago I was full of excitement racing through the streets of Dublin with joy and now it felt as if that joy had been taken away from me! A security man approached me with some workers wearing the logo of M&S, I explained how I had traveled for the event and that I had been a fan for about a year since his Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign. They took pity on me and let me into the line. I was thrilled. 


One of the other workers came up to my mother and I and told us there was no guarantee that we would get an autograph or our picture taken with Gandy because he only wanted to meet the first hundred and he was leaving in an hour. As the hour passed we saw many people turned away from the line and others who were in front of us left the line because they so no point in waiting. My mum and I had friendly conversation with the security guard, he had grey hair and a broad smile. He believed he was lucky and so got me to rub off him for luck. He thought of an idea, I should leave the line and he would hold my place while I go into the main shop like a customer and take pictures from afar, maybe if I didn’t think it is worth the wait and the disappointment I should leave.

I strolled into the shop; it was very crowded many people waiting in queue to talk to and snap a shot with the handsome supermodel. I stood there and took a handful of pictures. I went back to join my mum at the end of the queue and I had hope that maybe just maybe luck was on our side today. I decided to wait till I hear the officials say he has left the building. Every so often a woman would come and do a head count of those who were left, my mother and I being the last ones. It was up to the PR team to decide whether he leaves on time or stays to do everyone in line. Gandy had already been there 20 minutes over his appointed time and I was starting to fear that he would leave with just 10 more people to go.


As we stepped inside the store, I gripped my mother’s hand with excitement I could see him clearly! He looked so elegant in his crisp blue shirt with a beige cardigan and grey suit with white stripes. We drew closer and closer to him. I prepared my phone for pictures and handed it to one of the workers. I felt very nervous, I approached him looking at the ground he immediately got up and kissed my cheek. I was in utter shock. He had a welcoming smile and a great handshake. When he took a seat, he asked about my day and what I did, I explained the whole situation of the day to him and he regarded me with his full attention, occasionally turning away to sign his autograph on the flyer for his campaign. He was very intrigued by my story and said he appreciated all my efforts to come and see him, laughing at his joke about keeping it our little secret about missing school as a student. He was everything I expected: charming, handsome and funny. My mother became so emotional when he shook her hand and embraced her and since we were the last people to meet him he took time to converse with us and offered to take pictures of my mum and me separately and together.


It was a great day for the both of us and taking the train back I was glad that I waited and hoped. It was definitely the highlight of my year! This leaves me with my first item crossed out of my bucket list; Meet a celebrity – David James Gandy




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