David Gandy has leveraged his looks like no other male model has either before or after him. Since rising to fame as the face of Dolce and Gabbana ( a brand he represented all the way from 2006 to 2011), he’s transformed the fashion industry, invested in dozens of fashion brands, created a line of gin, written for numerous high profile magazines and newspapers, and even, back in the day, rolled around with Jennifer Lopez (although just to clarify, it was all perfectly legit and in aid of a music video). Here, we take a look at ten things everyone needs to know about the world’s most iconic male model.
1. He dreamed of being a veterinarian
As a child, Gandy’s dreams for the future were a far cry from where his career would eventually take him. As a huge animal lover, Gandy planned on becoming a veterinarian. Unfortunately, his school grades didn’t quite qualify him for his chosen path. Instead, he opted to study marketing at degree level; it was while studying the same at the University of Gloucestershire that a friend entered him (without his knowledge) into a modeling competition on ITV’s This Morning. Gandy won the crown, and along with it, a contract with Select Model Management in London.
2. He didn’t turn down 50 Shades
If the rumors are to be believed, the 50 Shades trilogy could have been a very different beast altogether. For years, it’s been thought that Gandy was offered the role of Christian, but turned it down. As it turns out, no such thing happened. “I saw the script for 50 Shades and had a conversation with E.L. James at an event, but I didn’t turn down the role,” he clarified to The Drinks Business.
3. He made his name with Dolce and Gabbana
At the start of his modeling career, Gandy took on numerous jobs with the likes of Shiatzy Chen, Zara, Hugo Boss, Russell & Bromley, 7 for all Mankind, and Massimo Dutt. In 2006, his star went stellar when he won a contract to appear as the “face” of Dolce and Gabbana. He continued to represent the brand all the way up until 2011, appearing in fashions shows and ads alongside other rising talents like Gemma Ward, Scarlett Johansson, Noah Mills, and Tony Ward.
4. He wasn’t always a lady’s man
Gandy may have been involved in some pretty high-profile relationships over the years, but he wasn’t always such a success with the ladies. As a youngster, he often lost out on girls to guys that, at the time, he thought were much better looking. “I was never successful with the girls, there were always guys who were more successful than me,” he shared with Square Mile. “I thought they were better looking than me. They’re not models, they’re just great looking guys.”
5. He’s not just a pretty face
Gandy may have made his name on the strength of his appearance, but over the last decade, he’s proven he’s more than just a pretty face. As well as having been invited on two separate occasions to speak at the Oxford Union, he also represented the fashion world at a panel discussing the topic of “Too Fat, Too Thin, Will We Ever Be Content?” at the 2013 Vogue Festival.
6. His Net Worth
Rising to the top of the fashion pack doesn’t come without its rewards. Over the past two decades, Gandy has gone from a cash strapped marketing student to one of the richest male models of all time. According to the latest figures from Celebrity Net Worth, Gandy is sitting very pretty indeed on a $16 million dollar fortune.
7. He’s moving into gin
Last year, Gandy made the move into gin… or at least, into its production. Alongside business partner Stewart Lee, the model launched “Saville Row”, a citrus-forward spirt named after the iconic London street. It’s not the first time Gandy has made some money out of the Brit’s legendary love of a good drink: in 2011, he participated in Martini’s ‘Luck is an Attitude’ ad campaign, while in 2012, he was made the brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
8. He’s written for Vogue
Gandy hasn’t just graced the covers of fashion magazines, he’s also spent a lot of the last decade writing for them. Since 2011, he’s been a regular contributor to British Vogue, blogging on everything from his career and style to cars, antiques and the London lifestyle. Other notable projects include a columnist role on The Daily Telegraph’s men’s lifestyle section, “Telegraph Men”, the position of official car reviewer for British GQ, and a guest editor and writer on the Evening Standard’s Men’s Issue.
9. He’s car mad
While he was still a student, Gandy worked part-time for Auto Express, taking the latest luxury cars of the day to the track for testing. His interest in cars and the racing industry has never abated, and in 2012, he finally received his racing license. The following year, he participated in the Mille Miglia (“1,000 Mile”) race in Italy alongside his co-driver, Yasmin Le Bon. After a few false starts, he eventually managed to place 158th out of 415 cars.
10. He’s a pioneer
In 2010, Gandy became the first male ever nominated for “Model of the Year” by the British Fashion Council. The accolades don’t stop there. In 2008, he was named the “Most Beautiful International Male Face” at an event hosted by Spanish Glamour magazine, while in 2011, Shortlist named him the “Face of Today”. He’s also been ranked as one of the most influential, sexiest, best dressed, and top-earning people in the world for too many years and by too many publications to mention.