Photographs: Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign
In an industry dominated by women, male model David Gandy of the UK is making quite a name for himself. Here's a brief introduction to D&G's blue-eyed boy -- let us know whether you find him hot or not!
Claudia Schiffer. Miranda Kerr. Heidi Klum. Gisele Bundchen.
When you think 'supermodel', these are the names that come to mind immediately, catwalk queens who have built business empires out of their looks and demand within the fashion industry.
If asked to name a male model within the same league, however, most of us would struggle to think of someone who even comes close.
But that seems set to change with the new league of hunks who have invaded fashion, determined to establish international reputations on the same scale as their female counterparts.
And the latest on the scene from this side of the fence is 31-year-old David Gandy, who's steadily rising through the ranks -- in 2009, Forbes Magazine named him the world's third most successful male model.
While you may not have heard of David, it's likely you have seen him in several advertising campaigns for prestigious labels, cozying up to the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Campbell and Gemma Ward.
Besides his success, it's also noteworthy that he's bringing back the trend for manly, buff bods in fashion, which in recent times has turned its preference to waifish, slimline boys with 25" waists and no hips to speak of.
In the following pages, we bring you a brief bio of this rising star and a poll for you to tell us what you think of his looks!
Bullied for lack of style
Photographs: Cover of GQ Style Russia, Spring-Summer 2009
David was born in Essex, England, to property developer parents who also ran their own freight company.
Growing up, he had a passion for cars, describing himself as a 'petrol-head'; he was not at all interested in fashion and was, in fact, bullied in school for his lack of style and for suffering from a slight speech impediment.
David's advent into the industry was nothing more than an accidental stroke of luck -- after he graduated from university in 2001, he landed a job delivering cars to car magazine Auto Express. A few of his friends who seemed to think he was destined for greater things, however, secretly entered him in a male model competition, which he ended up winning.
And that is how the then 21-year-old stunner found himself on contract with the exclusive agency Select Model Management.
Fiv years of obscurity
Photographs: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Landing his contract was hardly the end of the road for David, however -- rather, it was just the beginning.
What followed was five years of modelling in relative obscurity, doing ramp shows and catalogue assignments and facing several rejections -- not all auditions were a success.
But David's perseverance paid off in 2007, when he caught the attention of veteran designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of label D&G. The two selected the 6'2" model with piercing blue eyes to launch their fragrance Light Blue Pour Homme.
A massive marketing campaign ensued and the advertisements, which saw David wearing tiny trunks and glowering into the camera against an ocean background, were an instant success -- they collected a staggering 11 million hits online and a 50-foot poster was erected in Times Square, New York
A star is born
Photographs: Paul Kehl ad campaign
With his newfound fame, David went on to model for several big names like 7 for all Mankind, Ermenegildo Zegna, Zara and Marks & Spencer.
Now firmly established in the fashion industry, the lad from Essex is a runway sensation in Milan, New York and Paris. D&G had him front their second campaign for Light Blue again last year and he's also exploring a career in Hollywood, having acted in a short film with former supermodel Helena Christensen.
Photographs: Ian Gavan/Getty Images for One New Change and David Gandy