David Gandy may only be all of 35 years old, but in the modelling world, the supermodel is twice the age of most male models walking the runways of fashion weeks around the globe. But that is not deterring him in reprising his role as the face of Dolce & Gabanna’s Light Blue fragrance, eight years after the campaign debuted in 2007.
Causing waves again with images of his sculpted bod laying on a boat at sea, Gandy is no stranger to baring it all for the cameras. However, with artiste Madonna speaking up against ageist comments attacking her sexual image, Gandy could face a similar predicament as he ages. Fortunately, he shares similar sentiments with the Queen of Pop.
“People talk about age in a critical manner. They use it as an insult. I think that is wrong. No, I won’t be an underwear model for much longer but I understand what Madonna is saying. I think you do whatever you feel comfortable doing,” Gandy said to Popspoken at the St. Regis this past weekend. He was in Singapore to launch the Light Blue fragrance at an event in Ion Orchard.
Taking stock of his career, Gandy’s various pursuits outside of modelling are a testament to his confidence. Besides blogging on British Vogue, he has done numerous charity work, invested in companies such as label David Preston Shoes and was even part of a powerboat challenge.
In the offshore powerboat Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race, his Vector Martini team ended up overall winners this past September. Gandy hopes that he can hopefully move on to learning how to drive the boats as part of the four-man team.
“It’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie kind of thing being on the open water at 120 miles per hour. It’s speed, at the end of the day. It’s why I love skiing and car-racing – anything with an engine, a steering wheel and something going fast is fun for me,” he said.
From fashion model to fashion mogul
Gandy also extends his pursuits to a more entrepreneurial front. Early this year, he gave back to the fashion community by purchasing a majority stake in East London label David Preston Shoes. Although he said that he has always been supporting designers by wearing their wares at events, he decided to financially support Preston’s label so that the designer could focus on his craft of making shoes aimed at the high-luxury market but at more sensible price points.
“I invested in the guy, not the brand. I bought the brand because it was the most sensible element of taking responsibility away from him – me bringing a team and giving a percentage away to people who I believe are going to work well,” said Gandy.
“It’s a very small brand, got a tiny team working behind him. But I believe in him as a designer, I loved his shoes, so it was me really giving David an opportunity to show what he can do and spread it out to a wider audience. It might work, it might not but it was investing in a young British designer at the end of the day.”
All in the smarts
Gandy believes that in a looks-based industry, brains ensure a model’s longevity. He highlighted supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford who dealt with families and charity work, but came back to the modelling industry “at the top of their game” with nary a hint of arrogance.
“It’s running your brand as a business, it’s not about just being floaty and giving everything to every brand and every campaign. If you want longevity, you have to be very clever about it. If you don’t, you’re going to be around for a few years but you’re not going to last that long,” he said.
However, such a career is already being threatened by the onslaught of movie stars and sportsmen replacing models as spokespersons of brands. The model notes that the Light Blue campaign has stayed the same but still continues to be successful whereas other fragrance brands change spokespersons every so often.
“Why don’t people look at that and try to replicate the form? I have no idea.”
No matter the fluctuations that occur in the fashion industry, one can be sure that Gandy’s various pursuits and penchant to explore put him in good stead to navigate the waters of the future. And indeed, as Gandy lays in the open sea on his new Light Blue campaign, he said it is the “freshness” of the scent that takes him back to that boat in Capri. With his head screwed on tight, no wave is too big for him to lay defeat to.
Photos: Kyle Malinda-White for Popspoken