English model David Gandy has become a contemporary figurehead for the revolution in male fashion and dressing.
Yes, David Gandy is a model. Firstly this means he has a professional obligation to maintain a physique that shows off- to best effect -beautifully tailored, sharply cut suits from the finest brands in the business.
Secondly, it also means he has access to the most high-end of looks, as well as the nous of the in-house stylists at the fashion houses who produce these looks, ensuring Mr Gandy – Britain’s most famous male model (if you still regard David Beckham as primarily a footballer who does a lot of fashion shoots) – is always immaculately turned out.
Having said all that, Gandy, a 36-year-old from Billericay in Essex who found his way into the game after winning a breakfast TV show modelling competition, quickly managed to transcend the “just a clothes horse” appellation. He’s as much a celebrity spotted at race days, charity events and red carpet nights, and has developed a reputation apart from modelling for impeccable taste and style.
The face of Dolce & Gabbana for many years – his shoot for the Light Blue fragrance famously immortalised in a 50-foot high billboard of him in Times Square – Gandy’s personal style is actually very simple and founded in a few basic rules and a reliance on fine tailoring. Famed for bringing a more robust and muscular silhouette to male modelling, few wear a three-piece suit as well as Gandy. Importantly, he’s not flash or outlandish but he always gives the traditional suit set-up a fashionable tweak with a hat or the perfect combination of pocket square, shirt, tie, shoes and belt.
Gandy’s evolution as “more than a model” is reflected in his latter-day extracurricular role as commentator on matters of male fashion and etiquette for a range of fashion titles and The Telegraph in London, where he once
opined on the link between style and behaving like “a gentleman” in a piece that encapsulated many of the reasons he is a modern-day icon of style.
“One assumption is that if you can dress the part – by acquiring an expensive three-piece suit and parting your hair, you’ve somehow earned the right to be classed as a gentleman,” Gandy wrote.
“This isn’t the case. As the saying goes, ‘You can buy fashion, but you can’t buy style’ … A gentleman doesn’t follow fashion. He’s more of an individual, he stands out, with the confidence to go against the grain and without a care for what other people think.
“A gentleman is never ‘styled’ he exudes style, effortlessly. A gentleman dresses the appropriate way for the occasion and would be as elegant and stylish in jeans and a T-shirt as he would be in a suit.”
Easy for you to say, Mr Gandy.