Sunday mornings are for lazing in bed, and it really takes a lot to drag me out of my cosy bed. But when a personal invitation to an exclusive meet-up with an international male supermodel comes along, how can I – or anyone for that matter – say no?
So there I was last Sunday, at 8.45am sharp, waiting at the lobby of St. Regis Singapore to meet up with the PR reps from Dolce & Gabbana fragrance. They have invited David Gandy here to promote its classic fragrance, Light Blue, in Singapore. One may recall that the Light Blue ad campaign is one of David’s earlier campaigns with Dolce & Gabbana. In fact, it was the campaign that shot him to supermodel stardom.
As it turns out, I am not the only one meeting David this morning. Joined by four other fashion and beauty bloggers, I was still glad to be the only guy, and to be in the first group, because that meant we had the most time with him. It was about 9.15am and we were summoned by the PR team – David is ready to meet us. I could tell that everyone was super excited as we took the lift up to the interview suite.
“David is in a good mood today”, exclaimed one of the PR girls. (Erm… does he have mood swings on other days? I thought to myself.)
As we entered the suite, there was a camera crew, a make-up artist, and some staff busy setting the room up for the interview. David had apparently stepped out to get his phone charged in his room. We were quickly ushered to take our seats on a beautiful couch in the suite. In fact, I could tell that they had carefully selected the room because it was very Italian classic, and so, very Dolce & Gabbana (I thought.)
“Good morning everyone…”, that’s what we first heard as the incredibly handsome and tall David Gandy walks into the room. I swear everyone froze for a second, and then immediately melted by his dashing good looks. David was indeed in a splendid mood as he greeted every single one in the room and then casually sat down on an armchair across from us. He was incredibly chatty and almost required no prompting at all. David has the charm that really comes from, aside from his good looks, an engaging sincerity. And of course those sexy eyes locking in with yours when he talks – making your heart skip a beat every time he glances over.
Anyway, in spite of all this excitement, I managed to gather my professionalism and ask him some questions, including his opinions about men, and men’s fashion…
HSD: You said you like to eat, but how do you stay in shape? Or do you just have the perfect genes?
DAVID: Yes, I love to eat. Asian cuisine especially, because it is mostly healthier and cleaner than some Western foods prepared with processed ingredients. Also, I think a lot of it has to do with having a good workout exercise regime that helps to keep my metabolism up. So, I try to workout five, six times a week.
I could say that genes also play a part for me. [laughing] I have my parents and grandparents to thank because they really took good care of themselves and taught me from young to do likewise.
HSD: How do you do all these things when you are busy traveling?
DAVID: It’s true that when we travel, it can be a lot harder to control the type of food we eat. It boils down to some discipline and also not forgetting to fit in time to hit the gym whenever possible to do my workouts.
HSD: What do you think of being labeled a male supermodel?
DAVID: I think the word ‘super’ is just a word that is commonly used in all industry to identify people at the pinnacle of their career. And just like me, there are a couple other guys who are like this, but sometimes people just find it difficult to remember their names.
That said, people often remember the names of the female supermodels better, and I have learnt that it is all about the branding of the individual. You can see that now with social media, how some people can build a brand for themselves. But when I started back in 2006, there was no social media and I had to learn it the old fashion way.
HSD: You are often looked upon as a male fashion icon, photographed in impeccable classic suits. Do you think there’s a stereotypical idea of how a gentleman should dress?
DAVID: Being a gentleman has got nothing to do with dressing. That’s a myth. Just because someone wears a three-piece suit does not automatically make him a gentleman. A gentleman is defined by the way he behaves, the way he treats people around him. To me, a gentleman is very discreet and doesn’t shout about what he does and what he has.
In fact, I wrote an article on The Telegraph on my view of a gentleman. It was a little controversial at the time as the radio stations were saying ‘oh, David Gandy’s saying this and that about being a gentleman’.
However, that was my view and how I was taught from a young age about being a gentleman. Both my father and grandfather were perfect examples of the gentleman and they were really into fashion.
HSD: What do you think is the trend for menswear now?
DAVID: It’s difficult to say. A few years back, I was turning up at events in 3-piece suits and people were going like, “What is wrong with him?” But that was me and I’ve always liked suits and I know that’s what works for me. Looking at the London Collections now, you can see that there are so many things happening, yet you see suits appearing everywhere. As with fashion, things keeps changing.
What I would hate to see is people starting to go into the ‘dress down’ look where they appear sloppy. To me it is rude when one does not dress approriately for an event. For example, there were people who did not dress in black-tie at a GQ Man of the Year event, and I thought that was disrespectful.
I think some men also make the mistake of following trends too much. Just because something is on the runway, does not mean it is necessary to wear them. They need to understand what works for them, what their body type is, and find what is right and comfortable for them.
HSD: What does fragrance mean to you?
DAVID: I think fragrance is an essential accessory. Especially for men, because unlike women, men do not have many accessories. So to me, the fragrance is almost a part of my outfit, different for different occasions and times of day. I feel a bit naked if I go out without wearing my fragrance.
I like the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue as it’s a great summer fragrance, although back in London there is not much of a summer. [laughing] For evenings, there is the Velvet Collection from Dolce & Gabbana that works really well.
One thing I noticed with some people is they apply too much fragrance and it becomes overwhelming. You don’t want someone to smell your fragrance before you walk into the room.
I shall leave you with a parting group(ies) shot!
From L-R: Maybeline Sim, Beatrice Tan, David Gandy, myself, Christabel Chua and Samantha Joy. Check out their blogs in the link.