David Gandy: I was born in the wrong era!

‘I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era,’ says David Gandy (Laura Pannack)

A Life in The Day

The British male supermodel David Gandy, 33, best known as the face of Dolce & Gabbana, talks about cash, creams and cocktails, and why he loves old traditions.

Interview by Ria Higgings

Photography by Laura Pannack

If I don’t have to get up for an early-morning flight somewhere, I stay in bed until about 8 or 9 — usually until my mobile starts beeping. Then I’ll grab my laptop, make a coffee and go back to bed. I’ve got one of those espresso machines with all the different flavourings, so it’s a bit like having a mini Starbucks in the kitchen.

Breakfast is often a protein drink with beetroot juice, almond milk, nuts, apples and protein powder. I eat healthily. I also look after my skin, but I don’t use anti-ageing creams — I use serums and rose oils. When it comes to looks, everyone feels insecure about them at one time or other. I’m the same. With my wardrobe I’m a bit old school, a bit of a classic suit man — Thom Sweeney, Henry Poole, Club Monaco, M&S…I’ve got this three-piece herringbone I adore.

I do a lot of travelling, but I spent a lot of this summer in London because I bought a Victorian house in Fulham and it’s being completely renovated. I’m living in a flat nearby so I like to see how the builders are doing – maybe swing by Tinto’s, mu local coffee shot, on the way.

The house is something I’ve dreamt about doing for ages, and it will be very Savile Row-inspired, so lots of wood panelling and old furniture. I’ve been buying stuff at fairs, like Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. I’ve been pulled things out of skips. I’ve just had a 19th-century double wing-back chair re-upholstered by Holland & Sherry.

If I stop for launch somewhere, I tend to go for Asian food. There’s a place on the King’s Road called Eight Over Eight that does great sushi. The other day, though, I had fish and chips and mushy peas with my builders. You can’t beat it.

During the course of a year, I’ll work with several brands, and I’ve longstanding relationships with quite a few of them now, including Dolce & Gabbana, Johnnie Walker, Jaguar and Massimo Dutti. I also write on a regular basis for Vogue, GQ and Man About Town, and I’m working on some film projects.

I’ve been modelling for 13 years, but it wasn’t something I set out to do. I just fell into it. As a model, though, you’re self-employed, you have to take care of your finances. Luckily, I was brought up not to be silly with money, not to squander it. My dad also gives me good advices.

I grew up in Billericay in Essex, whre my first ambition was to be vet, but I wasn’t hugely academic — I went to a comprehensive, and except for sport, I didn’t enjoy it much; or university. My parents weren’t pushy, though, they trusted me to make the right decisions.

I still love animals. I grew up with dogs – in fact, my parents, who now live in a lovely country house in Suffolk, still foster them, so I get my dog fix when I see them. I’m also ambassador for Battersea dogs home.

I have one sister, who lives in Spain with her family. So I’m an uncle, but one day I hope to get married and have children myself. The one thing I look for in a person is a good sense of humour. I’m actually quite a shy person myself.

I like to get to the gym five times a week, and if I’ve been busy all day, I’m often in there around 9pm. Then when I get in, I eat. If it’s an evening when friends are round, I love cooking. I’ve just learnt how to marinade black cod. I also do a great fish pie.

If I’m going somewhere smart for the evening, I’ll choose a suit to match the occasion, then I’ll match the tie and handkerchief as best I can, followed by the shoe, belt colour and watch strap — I have a collection of great vintage watches.

I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era — I’m even having a 1960s Mercedes 190 SL rebuilt. If I could be a character in drama, it would have to be Mad Men. If I could go back in time, who wouldn’t want to have a few cocktails with the Rat Pack? Mine would be an Old Fashioned — my go-to drink.

I’m usually not in bed before 2am. But luckily I don’t need much sleep and, as I spend my time doing the things I want to do, what is there to complain about? Life for me is pretty wonderful right now.

David Gandy is ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label.