David Gandy reveals the man behind the fashion icon – and those tighty whities

In an industry obsessed with the shiny and new, David Gandy is the gift that keeps on giving.

He’s just launched his latest collection for M&S – and with it pictures of him modelling everything from boxer shorts to tuxedos.

His partnership with M&S was a success from the get go. Now in his seventh year, his David Gandy for Autograph loungewear collection has amassed a loyal following and gets bigger each season.

He also appears in their latest Christmas ad with Holly Willoughby wearing a dapper suit and a pair of marigolds, cementing his status as a national treasure.

His new role as tailoring ambassador has resonated with customers who value and respect his credentials and are genuinely interested in learning how to dress like him.

Far from being alienated by his ridiculous good looks, men trust his advice. Key pieces from his new collection sold out within days.

But in modern terms, brand David shouldn’t really work. We know very little about his private life (did you know he’s just become a dad to gorgeous daughter Matilda?) he’s never been on Strictly or entered the jungle and he doesn’t post pictures of his breakfast or fitness routine on social media.

And yet the David Gandy brand is stronger than ever. Ask him how he’s achieved this and he explains: “My style icons are old Hollywood legends like Robert Redford, Cary Grant and Paul Newman. They remain relevant today and are still in ads for brands like Rolex, Barbour and Belfast. A lot of what they wore was utilitarian clothing by brands but they wore them with a classic white t-shirt and jeans adding their own style.

"Their appeal was they had a mystery that we don’t really have now. I may have this wrong, maybe I’d have millions more social media followers if I did Instagram my breakfast and I’m not saying one way is right or wrong. But it is possible to be in the pubic eye and not reveal everything about yourself. Look at stars like Daniel Craig and Ryan Gosling."


"I very much respect that they have managed to retain their privacy. That’s what appeals to me.

"Maybe the reason I have managed to remain relevant and retain my privacy is because I haven’t stuck to to one particular thing. While we love to pigeon hole people, I may have started out a model but now I race cars, I work with Jaguar, I’ve written for GQ, Vanity Fair and The Telegraph, I design my loungewear for M&S, I’ve just collaborated with Aspinal on a range of luggage and I work with the British Fashion Council.

"I haven’t really stuck to one individual thing. I’ve kept my self relevant in that way. I also make sure that I control everything I do, especially editorial. And I would only ever work with a brand that I believe in.

"I think because of social media we no longer see as many inspirational iconic shoots, the industry is losing that. Something I learned from working with Dolce & Gabbana is how important it is to have creative control and work with a good team. They were very inspirational."

David shot to fame in 2006, when we first saw him sailing around the Island of Capri wearing nothing more than a pair of white swimming trunks in the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue ads.

With his masculine torso and rugged good looks he redefined the existing aesthetic of skinny models and transformed the male modelling world. Fast forward 12 years and Light Blue continues to be one of the world’s best selling fragrances.

"I have lot of respect for how Domenico and Stefano work and yes, I’ve learned from them. When I commit to a project I put together an amazing team and work hard to create something that really stands out and hopefully that inspires people.

"A successful image is about the lifestyle element and creative of the shoot, not just about the clothing. While social media on the other hand is very much geared towards the selling of something.”

This commitment to every project is undeniably the key to his success. He’s incredibly passionate about this tailoring collection for M&S which had 3.8 million hits within two days of launching.

“Men are very image orientated. They shop in a very different way to women and what we try to do is give customers lots of information. On the website we’ve linked everything to a shopable look book making it really easy for customers.”

Ridiculously knowledgeable about tailoring, he’s constantly on the look out for ideas.

“I get a lot of inspiration from history and I watch a lot of films. I watched American Gigolo the other day and got 15 ideas, I kept pausing it and noting down details.”

David has just had a baby girl with his criminal lawyer girlfriend Stephanie Mendoros, 32. And while he’s been busying preparing the nursery, needless to say he won’t be positing pictures of Matilda on social media anytime soon.

“My idea of being a father is protection. Maybe that’s old fashioned, but that’s what I am there for. I want to protect my daughter’s innocence and preserve their childhood, really.”

Will he ever stop modelling altogether? "I’d love to. But these days on a photo shoot because I like to control the content I end up being the creator and the art director and the model. Of course it’s nice to be the centre of attention, but there are plenty of people better at it than me. So yes I’d be very happy to step back at some stage.”

Thankfully David is still modelling for M&S so we don’t have to start worrying just yet.

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