British model David Gandy has invested in East London's cult men's footwear label
Purchases a stake in David Preston shoes
David Gandy – the London Collections: Men ambassador and British model – has stepped away from the lens, investing his personal money into a hip, small label – David Preston shoes.
“It was always my aim — which sounds really strange as a model — not to always be in front of the camera but to turn the other way and have an input,” Gandy told WWD of his new venture.
After acquiring a stake in the business, Gandy will now act as chairman and ambassador for David Preston shoes – which will host a soft launch at the upcoming London menswear fashion week, and show in Paris later this month.
The David Preston founder, a qualified nurse who is a self-taught shoe designer will retain a minority stake and his title as creative director.
Gandy, who is the face of Dolce & Gabbana's 'Light Blue' fragrance and recently collaborated with British High Street giant Marks & Spencer to launch a collection of underwear and sleepwear, said he was motivated by his female counterparts, and their drive to create themselves into global brands:
“I looked to the early supermodels, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington. They didn’t stick with just shooting,” he said.
The cult East London label David Preston was launched in 2011, featuring a tiny capsule collection of just three styles. Preston is known by those in the know, for his Chelsea boots –and Kate Moss is said to be a regular client. Previously, Preston had been doing business from his small East London studio and through the brand's website – which will be rebranded and relaunched under Gandy's makeover.
The two men were introduced when Gandy was looking for a great pair of Chelsea boots, the model heard of the Preston label and the relationship began.
Gandy will appear in the brand's look books and campaigns and a bigger collection will debut under the model's leadership – featuring 15 styles, including oxfords, brogues, Chelsea boots, as well as footwear for evening and for the red carpet. The luxurious mens shoes are created in in Spain and Italy, and the soles are hand-stitched in the UK.
“We want to create a lifestyle around the shoes and think about how men want to be seen in them: It’s having a cigarette and a whiskey after going out to a black-tie do or being in your classic car with your Chelsea boots,” Gandy said.