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Bond or Bond Street? It Boy David Gandy

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20th Sep 2008

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David Gandy navigating for D&G in Capri - M. Testino
In the heat of summer, the world can be forgiven for the need to focus on something as meaningless as a pair of white speedos against the azure seas of Capri. Yet while everyone is sweltering away from St. Tropez to Ibiza, it seems a bit of a global conversation has been brewing over David Gandy, possibly the splashiest arrival on the modeling front since Gisele, and certainly the most recognized male schmodel since Freddie Lundberg made a stir in an area invented by Marcus Schenkenberg, king of 1990s blue steel, (category as adapted by Ben Stiller).

Bond or Bond Street? David says not likely...

Surely you've seen David sulking in the pages of numerous magazines this summer as he fronts campaigns for Zara and Dolce & Gabbana's fragrance Light Blue, which includes a growing list of adolescent fan video, a 50ft. billboard in Times Square, and a burst of recognition heralding his arrival to the collective consciousness.

Actually David is not that new, as he started modeling in 2001 for London agency Select, and featured prominently in D&G's 2006 campaigns - first the sport one, then the military one.

The latest campaign was shot by Mario Testino last April in Capri, and featured David getting frisky in an inflatable raft. They were the first commercial ads of him shot by Testino (who really doesn't do ads) and are therefore somewhat special. Typical of Domenico and Stefano's over the top style, the impact was bound to be broad.

But no one cares about the cologne... while the affect of the campaign on Dolce & Gabbana's sales for the new fragrance is yet to be measured, the result for David has been strong. Crowned the sexiest man in the universe by various blogs, blogettes, and the increasingly perked global media, he's on a roll, with another upcoming campaign with Dolce & Gabbana about to shoot, and fall appearances now underway for Arena and other magazines.

"He's on everyone's lips" says a communications director for a major French house, "He's chiseled, the classic Greek depiction of man. It's a relief."

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Gandy for Bond? Extra dirty please!
Maybe that's why certain French and British houses are rumored to be considering him for their next seasons (if they can get him) and there are early murmurs calling him the "Utopian Bond" (no evidence of acting interest yet).

Certain players in Hollywood are also aware, and after Pierce Brosnan, the idea of grooming a candidate for years down the road has credibility. He is young and Daniel Craig is just getting started.

David has a couple Bond credentials - born in Essex, he is an authentic part of the London scene, and has a killer rep among those who have worked with him. Fortunately, he downplays the hype, has a sense of perspective and admits everything has its limits:

"I never really thought about acting seriously, but have been approached by some really great people... however i really don't want to be one of those horrid model/actors," he says.

"I would prefer to know i had some talent before moving on to acting, as I'm just enjoying doing well in the modelling industry at the moment."

As momentum around David builds, some are saying he reflects the end of Hedi Slimane and Marc Jacob's dominance over men's fashion - but unless Dior ditches the skinny look, its more likely 'the Medman' will just usher in a tougher end to the decade for more mainstream brands rather than toppling the aesthetic that Dior has so carefully constructed.

The real question is where he goes from here - name recognition is rare for models these days, especially a guy. So the money is on how he parlays that speedo into something a bit more... substantial.