Today Top Model David Gandy Turns 40 and we’re having a new fashion editorial from Elle Russia February 2021.
The British model, who rose to fame thanks to Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue campaign, we’ve found out how he trains and what he does to stay in shape now that he can’t leave home.
He also explains his style secrets and how to always hit the target with his looks. “It is an honor to be on any list of the best dressed,” he tells us, “but thinking about my next outfit is not something that certainly dominates my life.”
As a style reference for a whole generation of men, the English model (Billericay, Essex) has appeared on our pages with some relish.
However, this interview with David Gandy is quite special for two reasons. On the one hand, he gives it to us shortly after celebrating his 40th birthday, an excellent time to look back and reflect on his contribution to the world of fashion. On the other, we do it in very special conditions due to confinement, which gives it some unprecedented nuances until now.
We’ve found on the web a 2020 interview for GQ.com and we’d love to share it about.
GQ: When you shot the Light Blue campaign it was kind of a revolution. The public was not used to seeing such crude masculinity in an advertisement. How do you remember the impact of the campaign and how did it affect your career and life?
DAVID GANDY: The impact was instantaneous and incredible. This type of advertising had been used more in the 80s and 90s. When Light Blue came out most of the brands were obsessed with very young and thin boys, but the Light Blue campaign turned the tables and captured the imagination of people, and it certainly changed my life. We have continued to shoot many more successful campaigns since then. I feel very fortunate to be part of the team and the creative process. We didn’t know it at the time, but we definitely achieved something iconic. Both the fragrance and the campaign continue to be hugely successful and people still love the ads, showing the incredible power of creativity and advertising, something that brands should perhaps pay attention to now as many are obsessed with social media and influencers. I am very loyal to Domenico and Stefano, as I would not be in the position I am today without them. I recently did the Dolce & Gabbana eyewear campaign, and I was in the front row of the Milan women’s show this season to support the designers.
GQ: You somehow became a sex symbol thanks to that campaign. Do you think it changed the way men were viewed in advertising?
DG: As I was saying, I think that had been used extensively in past decades, but I guess Light Blue brought that kind of publicity to a whole new audience.
GQ: Many people wonder how you got that body that appears in the ad. Can you tell us what your fitness routine was like at that time?
DG: I was still learning how to coach in 2006 and I certainly know a lot more about it now. When I look back at that campaign it doesn’t give me the impression that he was particularly in very good shape, I have worked much harder since then to get a body that I am proud of.
GQ: How has your training routine changed? Can you describe what it is like today?
DG: I train using my body weight and medium weights. I always thought that lifting a lot of weights was key to getting a muscular body, but it is not. I train in the gym about five times a week for about an hour, even more when I’m training for a particular campaign or project.
GQ: How do you manage to train in the current circumstances?
DG: We are spending this time in Yorkshire, in the north of England, surrounded by very beautiful countryside and some incredible walking trails. We have our dog Dora here and we are also taking care of two other rescue dogs. I take the dogs out to one of the surrounding peaks, which is a good cardio workout. I am also working a lot in the garden and on the land. Obviously, I can’t go to the gym and I don’t have the necessary equipment here, so I’m not training as hard as I usually do. However, it’s okay to rest your body a bit and, with the work I’m doing, I’m probably burning about 4,000 calories a day anyway.
GQ: Menswear has evolved a lot since you started working. Have your tastes also evolved?
DG: I guess my style has evolved over time. I have been fortunate to work with some of the greatest creatives and designers in the world of fashion, so I have learned a lot. I don’t believe too much, however, in following trends. I wear suits and other pieces from my wardrobe that are ten years old. I don’t buy fast fashion or non-essential pieces and I believe in the sustainability of the garments. Therefore, the clothes that I buy are of high quality and basic pieces that I will wear for years.
GQ: Do you think that a man should dress according to his age or is that precept no longer valid?
DG: I think a man should dress according to what suits his body, according to what makes him feel stylish and gives him confidence. I like to see the individual touch in a man’s style choices. We live in times when less formal dressing is a trend, so there are more men wearing casual sneakers, sweatshirts or pants, and this can sometimes give the impression that they are trying to dress younger than they are. There is an ability to dress less formal and, at the same time, do it with style.
GQ: You’ve been on the best dressed men’s lists for many years. Is it strenuous to always have to go perfect or is it something you do effortlessly?
DG: Fortunately, it’s not something I work on. I don’t have a stylist or a team behind me dressing and choosing my style. I invest in new pieces and mix them with those I have in my closet. When I go to a tuxedo event or a red carpet, it takes me about 30 minutes to get ready. Sometimes I hit the nail on the head with my outfit, other times not so much. It’s an honor to be on any best dressed list, of course, but thinking about my next outfit isn’t something that certainly dominates my life.
GQ: It is often said that many men, when they turn 40, enter a midlife crisis and buy a Porsche. As a good petrolhead that you are, are you considering it?
DG: I have been collecting and restoring classic cars for many years, so I have a decent collection. In fact, I have sold one of my cars for my 40th birthday, so I guess the answer is no.
GQ: To conclude, what is the first thing you will do when this situation is over that you cannot do right now?
DG: Going to visit my parents, as we haven’t seen each other for a few months due to the confinement, and it will be wonderful for them to be able to see our daughter again, as she is growing very fast.
Photographer: Amy Shore
Stylist: Richard Pierce
Grooming: Larry King
Cast: David Gandy