An Audience With David Gandy
Located in the hot house of the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design were a gaggle of girls waiting to grab a glimpse of the world’s only male supermodel, David Gandy.
Mr Gandy was due to talk with fashion luminary Hiliary Alexander about all things men’s fashion and, much to the delight of the students of the college, this included a face-to-face insight into the world of men’s fashion from David Gandy himself.
The event, organised by fashion’s elite members club, The Industry, packed in stylish stalwarts that included Harold Tillman (former British Fashion Council chair), Michael Herz (Bally’s creative director) and designer William Tempest to name but a few. It also enabled future designers, students and creative types to gain a rare insight into the mysteries of modelling from a male perspective.
For those who don’t know, Gandy “didn’t aspire to be in the fashion industry”, he actually fell into it through a friend who put him forward for a TV modelling contest. Despite “hating having his picture taken”, it comes as no surprise that the working class lad from Essex won and subsequently went on to remarkable stardom. It is this rising popularity that has helped the men’s fashion industry forge ahead into areas one could have only dreamed of three years ago.
London has recently finished only its third London Collections: MEN, and with every season its success continues to grow. This is reinforced with the impressive list of labels queuing up to exhibit their works, which now includes powerhouses such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen.
It would be an exaggeration to say that this has been all down to the world’s only supermodel, but it would not be far off the mark to say Gandy has had an impressive impact on it. Regularly blogging for Vogue.co.uk but also undertaking reviews of cars for GQ.com, Gandy manages to cross the boundaries between sex appeal, style and good old fashioned male behaviour.
Well aware of the stigmas faced when it comes to male fashion, Gandy sympathises with the regular guy on the high street, “I like to bring a tangible element into fashion. The person who buys male fashion is the man on the street, so why alienate him? When I turned up to London Collections: MEN, I turned up in a classic car. It’s a very simple thing – men like cars. Fashion needs to prove to men that it’s not scary.” It is the latter sentiment that the men’s fashion world and the British Fashion Council needs to take on board in order to maintain its meteoric rise.
With more men than ever in the public-eye taking greater awareness in what they are wearing men’s fashion is taking centre stage. From Tinie Tempah to David Beckham; pop stars and sport stars. Gandy emphasised the importance of how all of this combines to improve the men’s side of the industry.
Whilst Hilary Alexander continued to probe you couldn’t help but think: what next? Well for Gandy, he will continue to turn heads and set off flash bulbs wherever he goes, be it in a classic car, on the front pages of magazines or with a beautiful brunette lady on his arm.
But for men’s fashion as a whole, the future looks to be in good hands with continued media coverage, public faces with a real passion for improving the image of the industry and labels continuing to buy into the everyday male mentality. And in small way, this is down to the steer and influence a single working class Essex lad has had on this growing global business.