David James Gandy is gorgeous. He's famous for being the most successful male model (he's represented by Select Model Management), and at a time when men seemed more comfortable than ever with being gazed upon by men (and women), we wondered what his secret was for staying relevant?
"I'm not sure there is any great secret," he confesses. "Really, I analyzed the success of the female supermodels, and the platform they had used, and we went from there. It is about diversification and branding, making your own mark on something. It's never about doing things better than anyone else, more about strategy and doing things differently to everyone else."
Gandy is featured on the February 2015 cover of Out magazine, and we asked him a few of our other most pressing questions about his career, including why it's OK for him to flirt with gay guys.
SLIDESHOW | DAVID GANDY FOR OUT
Out: These days we're allowed to enjoy looking at men's bodies as much as we are women's bodies. How do you feel about being an object of pleasure for other men? Do you appreciate it?
David James Gandy: Even though I have now diversified into writing (for Vogue and GQ) supporting my charities, and designing menswear, as a model I use my face and body to sell, that's the very basic of what a model does. Of course, it is predominately women who have had the most recognition within the industry, but men like myself and David Beckham have helped changed the perception. And of course, great photographers like Bruce Webber and Mario Testino have always celebrated the male form and make men look beautiful. I'm very honored that people enjoy seeing the campaigns that I appear in.
Your "Light Blue" campaign for Dolce & Gabbana, in which you wear a pair of white speedos, is iconic. What do you remember of the shoot that day?
It was probably one of the most important days of my modeling life--without that shoot, I am sure I wouldn't be in the position that I am in today. I have very fond memories of that day; it was the first time I worked with Mario Testino. But my overriding memory is of heading back to Naples from Capri, at sunset in the speed boat, knowing we had shot something very special. Obviously I didn't realize at the time quite how successful that campaign would be, if I did I probably would have been even more excited...
You've just designed a line of underwear for British retailer Marks & Spencer. Describe what we should look for in a good pair of underpants?
Good underwear is all about fit and comfort. I've designed 28 pieces of underwear and lounge wear for M&S and the area we worked on the hardest was quality and fit. I wanted the underwear to feel like a second skin and by learning from what men have told me, I hope we have been successful. Of course it's finding the right underwear for you and your shape. I wear "hipsters," but many men will prefer briefs or trunks. I also believe in discreet branding and utilizing the highest quality materials.
What's your favorite item of fashion you own?
I love my suits. I'm always having a new suit tailored by the best British tailors. I must have at least 60 suits in my wardrobe now, and I even auction ones off for charity. I feel at my most comfortable in a three-piece suit.
Have guys ever hit on you, and how do you respond?
Guys know I'm heterosexual so no, they don't hit on me. But I've been in the fashion industry for years where many of the creative and designers are gay, so we always flirt and have a great laugh. Usually they just try and introduce me to their hot girlfriends.
SLIDESHOW | DAVID GANDY FOR OUT