David Gandy on fashion: I’ve always gone against the grain
Despite being known for his love of sharp tailoring and three-piece suits, supermodel David Gandy has succumbed to what he refers to as “lockdown chic”.
For most of us, that means wearing the same pair of sweatpants for weeks on end, but for the 41-year-old, it looks a bit different: a perfectly fitted t-shirt, fresh off a dog walk. This is even a rarity for Gandy, who’s been wearing shirts and ties on the odd Zoom call, “because I was fed up with wearing loungewear… I wanted to make a bit more effort”, he explains.
There’s a reason Gandy – who celebrates two decades in the fashion industry this year – has such enviable off-duty style. “I’m not a big trend follower,” he says, thoughtfully. “I pretty much stick to a style that suits me, that suits my body style and I feel confident in. I’m known for my suits – tailoring, British designers and Savile Row.”
The pandemic might have caused trends to move closer towards comfort and athleisure, but Gandy feels hopeful that formal clothing will make a comeback. He suggests we’ll be “desperate” to dress up, “when we finally get to socialise again and go out”.
You might think someone who feels that comfortable in a three-piece suit might be snooty, but Gandy is far from it. He’s remarkably level-headed in his approach to style, saying: “I don’t like the idea of dress codes or anything like that. For me, there’s no right or wrong in fashion, it’s a personal choice – I’m never going to criticise anyone for dressing the way they want.”
And for Gandy, wearing a perfectly tailored suit is the ultimate mood booster. “When I put on a suit, it always feels to me like a suit of armour,” he explains. “It’s something I put on – not to hold people back or make a barrier or anything – I just feel more confident in it.”
Gandy’s off-duty style makes him something of a unique figure in an increasingly dressed-down fashion industry. He says: “I suppose I’ve always gone against the grain in many ways, but I’m not doing anything particularly out there or new – and I’m just as happy in a suit as in a good T-shirt and a pair of jeans.”
You won’t catch him in any old T-shirt, though. One thing Gandy has learned from working “with some of the greatest creatives, like Dolce & Gabbana”, he says, is you shouldn’t underestimate the workmanship that goes into simple outfits. “It’s not just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans – it’s a very well put together, good fitting pair of jeans that look great. To make that relaxed look really stand out – sometimes, it’s not as easy as you think.”
With such a classic sense of style, Gandy’s fashion heroes are very much in a similar vein. “I still look at the Paul Newmans, the Steve McQueens and the James Deans from the 1960s as being icons,” he says. “Ironically, the more I read about them, the more they wouldn’t be dressing or styling anything – they were all very utilitarian.
“They all had racing teams, so they would have the jackets, the hats, the sunglasses and everything – they wore it because it was the best stuff for racing, but now those items have become iconic with them.”
David Gandy has collaborated with Vodafone to launch Neo, the smart kids’ watch, the latest product in the Designed & Connected by Vodafone range. Visit eshop.v.vodafone.com.