A few months ago, we featured David Gandy as one of our Top 5 Style Icons, but now, Jamie Tuohy is taking a closer look at what makes David Gandy the world’s most successful male model and one of fashion’s best-dressed men.
If the old adage goes “Jack of all trades and master of none”, then David Gandy is the annoyingly-skilled exception to the maxim. As well as being the world’s most in-demand and successful male model, the 33-year-old Essex man is a blogger for Vogue.com, a car reviewer for British GQ, a film investor, a fitness and style guru (with smart phone Apps to prove it!), owner of his own production company and a philanthropist. He has addressed students at the prestigious Oxford Union twice, talking about the importance of men’s fashion. Gandy is also a committee member for London Collections: Men. And he is the only male model ever to be nominated by the British Fashion Council as Model of the Year. Oh, and that also happened twice. As well as all that, Gandy is editing the men’s section of the M&S Magazine. See what I mean?
David Gandy is a powerhouse in the fashion world and as the face (and body) of some of the world’s biggest brands, including Dolce and Gabbana and Massimo Dutti, the Billericay-born model is busier than ever. With so many strings to his bow, it’s a wonder Gandy gets time to look in the mirror in the morning. Actually, if we are to believe David, that’s one thing he doesn’t do – saying he doesn’t like to be confronted with his imperfections. While the rest of us struggle to see Gandy’s self-perceived flaws, one thing that is unquestionably perfect is his impeccable dress sense. Short of James Bond, I can’t think of a modern-day man who looks sharper in a suit than Gandy, as his look combines all the strapping masculinity of the 007 agent with his own personal tenacious attention to detail.
Indeed, Gandy has made being a man’s man fashionable again. There’ll be no super-skinny jeans masquerading as jeggings in David’s wardrobe as his signature style is unmistakably classic, in the sense that a three-piece suit or a form-fitting blazer are Gandy’s go-to pieces. A couple of years ago, Gandy did a style diary with British GQ, wherein he showcased various looks from his week. It saw Gandy wearing everything from a double-breasted Ralph Lauren blazer to a fitted Reiss jumper tucked into trousers from the same label. Gandy’s innate sense of style means that he is the doyen of occasion dressing, yet even on a day off, the model is giving a master-class in style, looking equally as dashing and well-dressed as he does on the catwalk.
Despite Gandy’s Essex origins, his look and style are, in the case of the former; deceptively, and in the latter, perhaps intentionally; Italian. The leather jacket thrown over a t-shirt and jeans, allowing a silk scarf to be seen under the collar is a classic example of the catwalk king’s clever dressing and moreover, it’s very 1950s Italian Riviera. Actually, scratch that – David’s look is more ‘Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna motorbike around the Amalfi Coast.’ I’m not sure if McQueen ever did this but the effortlessness and coolness espoused from this image isn’t worlds away from Gandy’s own brand of cool and with the model’s own predilection of cars and motorcycles, it’s an association easily made.
What makes David Gandy such a successful style icon is his knowledge of fashion and his ability to create a brand around his own name and the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Putting his marketing degree to good use, Gandy’s hugely successful smart phone application, David Gandy Style Guide breaks down the complex world of men’s styling and allows Gandy to share the expertise he has acquired over the years. Fashion is important to him and it shows. He isn’t a trend-orientated dresser and because of this, Gandy’s style has integrity, substance and longevity. When he’s wearing a Ralph Lauren or Dolce and Gabbana suit, his look is aspirational, but at the same time, Gandy’s look is wholly accessible. In a recent interview with Telegraph, he spoke about how he would never pay full price for a Ralph Lauren suit and only shops in there in sales. Also, as the face of Marks & Spencer’s Collezione campaign, he is regularly seen in items from the collection, saying that he takes certain pieces from the collection to his tailor and has them fitted to his body shape. His style is clever, inherent and certainly not defined by brands or finance and this undoubtedly is what makes him unique in the fickle world of fashion.
Devilishly nonchalant, yet immaculately tailored – for a man who doesn’t like looking in mirrors, David Gandy does a pretty good job of sprucing himself up in the mornings!