The Conversation: David Gandy on Richard and Judy, D&G, and being stared at by strangers

The model from Essex prefers 'Mad Man' to 'Breaking Bad' - and 'Ray Donovan' is his favourite

Who are you wearing?

I always like to try and push British brands and the brands I have contracts with, from Savile Row to M&S, and…

Yeah, but what about now?

Oh, right now? I'm wearing an American Apparel T-shirt, my staple, and some Lucky Brand jeans. Not the most glamourous, but I'm at home today.

You owe everything to Richard and Judy, right?

I suppose I do. A good 13 years ago. My friend entered me into a This Morning modelling competition without telling me. That's where it started.

How did the D&G 'hunk-in-trunks' campaign change things?

It was a defining moment, a bit like an actor with his first film. It changed everything but it also changed the industry. It really brought men back into fashion instead of the androgynous, skinny models.

Is there a rivalry between the two?

I'm not sure how they would fight it out! But, no, I think there's a nice balance. The bigger rivalry is with all the actors and sportsmen doing campaigns. Brands won't take a chance with a model any more.

Are people still surprised to hear you're from Billericay?

They're still surprised I'm even English! That's why we wanted the name of David Gandy to be out there – so I wasn't just known as the Mediterranean-looking guy in the white pants.

Do you ever feel objectified?

No. The D&G image wasn't shy, but I didn't go straight off and do more underwear. We wanted that to stand alone.

But does being looked at all the time get tiring?

In Italy recently people were asking me to take off my sunglasses so they could look at my blue eyes. That's a bit strange. I think Paul Newman said looking into eyes was like looking into a soul and that's why he wore sunglasses.

You go to every event and opening. Do you have a twin?

I don't go for the parties, but to support brands. I became the unofficial face of the London Collections and went to 40-odd shows and events in the first season. I'm very happy to support British fashion.

What do you say to people who say they're just not interested in fashion?

I say, why are you wearing that this morning? They say, I like this jacket and I say, that's fashion – you've been influenced so you can't say you're not interested.

Are you ever tempted to let yourself go?

No! I indulge but always in moderation. We were at the Wolseley in London the other day and I ordered a sausage sandwich. I think they were surprised.

My colleague, who's nice, says she thinks you look a bit like Robbie Jackson from EastEnders.

That's not very original, is it?

Robbie is considered a heartthrob in some circles…

I don't really know who you're talking about.

Sorry.

It's OK.

So, Mad Men or Breaking Bad?

Definitely Mad Men. It'll be a sad day when it ends. Sopranos used to be my show and now it's Ray Donovan. It's about a guy who fixes everything for celebrities in Hollywood.

Would you do the Hollywood thing?

We get sent scripts and if the right thing came along I wouldn't say no, but I hardly have a minute to spare as it is.

Biography

David Gandy, 33, is a model from Essex who made his name in Dolce & Gabbana fragrance ads first shot by Mario Testino in 2007, before becoming a global ambassador for British men's fashion

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