David Gandy: ‘I wanted to bring wellness and apparel together’
David Gandy, founder of David Gandy Wellwear, told Drapers Inner Circle Summit 2023 why he decided to launch the business two years ago and where he sees the market heading.
BY ZOE HU
In 2021, London-based model David Gandy celebrated 20 years in the fashion industry by launching his own business, David Gandy Wellwear, which aims to combine two of his great passions: style and well-being.
Gandy has actively campaigned for better awareness around mental and physical health throughout his career and it was his belief that “clothing shouldn’t just make you look good, it should make you feel good too”, which led to Wellwear, a concept bringing well-being and wardrobe together.
The brand said it is different to activewear, sportswear, loungewear, nightwear, casualwear or leisurewear. Its products include T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, gilets, trousers, joggers and shorts, available direct-to-consumer on its transactional website and at Selfridges. Retail prices range from £30 for vests to £220 for duvet coats.
Drapers spoke to Gandy to find out how the journey has been since the launch.
How did you start your journey?
We had the challenge of convincing people that it is something different and that it was genuine and authentic. I wanted to do something different and everyone was talking to me about tailoring and grooming, but there were things we could do as a small brand that we couldn’t do in a corporation.
The idea of Wellwear started because I believe that clothes should make you look good but it should make you feel good as well, [so I decided to start] bringing wellness and apparel together for the first time.
What roles do sustainability and longevity play in your brand?
We will never say we are a sustainable brand. We are constantly improving but it’s very hard to be completely sustainable. [The brand was created to] have technical washes, high-quality fabric and style, made in Europe, and sold at an attainable price. We ended up creating that and we proved to the bigger brands that it can be done.
My dad always tells me to polish the shoes and keep the suits, and that’s how I was brought up and people probably think I have a much bigger wardrobe that I actually do. I buy classic essentials and I’m never trend-driven, and that’s the ethos we have with Wellwear. [We want the brand to have] longevity that we need to make things that last and don’t fall apart.
How do you engage with your customers, and especially the Gen Z customers?
There is a form of disposable creativity. We are all guilty of flicking on our phones and not really noticing what exactly is going on and it take something very good and different to really stand out.
Wellwear is about storytelling so we are constantly telling our stories of the initial concept and how we achieved it. We are very honest with our customers and we try to be personal and positive.
We have a large age range [of customers] but you can’t forget about the young generation. [To appeal to them], it comes back to our storytelling and that we are one of the only brands that’s doing what we are doing.