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Born in 1980, David Gandy was at university studying marketing when his housemate suggested he entered a modelling competition on ITV's This Morning. He thought they were joking - but they entered it for him behind his back and he went on to win, bagging himself a contract with Select Models.

At the age of 17 Gandy already had his perfect job. "I was delivering sports cars to tracks all over the place," he says. "It was about the time the Porsche Boxster launched so that was probably my favourite."

In 2006 he was chosen to be Dolce & Gabbana's muse and rapidly rose to be one of the best known faces - and bodies - in fashion, partly thanks to a 50ft Times Square billboard of him wearing nothing but a pair of Dolce & Gabbana white pants and a spritz of the Light Blue house fragrance.

Gandy admits that it wasn't easy to break into the modelling industry "because the trend was for skinny, androgynous guys who had bodies more like girls".

In 2009 he was voted the third most successful model in the world by Forbesmagazine.

He has been photographed with the world's top photographers including Mario Testino, Steven Meisel and Steven Klein. "David has something of what the Eighties supermodels have," Testino has said. "He radiates health and positivity. I think he has what it takes to be very big. It's exciting because it signifies a real shift in men's fashion. The male model world is changing."

And the feeling is mutual. "I love shooting with Mario," Gandy says. "He makes the most incredible pictures and the shoots are just great fun. You work in the morning, have a big lunch and get drunk - it's perfect."

In April 2010 he appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross - the first male model ever to feature on the show.

In May 2010, Gandy was invited to speak at the Oxford University Union, on a panel which included fashion photographer Tony McGee, the V&A's senior curator Claire Wilcox, fashion consultant Frances Card and VOGUE.COM editor Dolly Jones.

"I've managed to just about cross the line from model to celebrity which puts me up against David Beckham and Jude Law when it comes to modelling jobs," he said. "It's an amazing feeling to be on that level - but on the other hand I do kind of just think, 'I wish they'd sod off - I want those campaigns!"

He also wants to promote great dressing for men that, he says, "shouldn't be difficult". "Men are still quite scared of the connotations of looking gay, even in 2010," he says. "But dressing well can be easy. You don't have to buy a suit from the most expensive labels - you can pick one up from Zara or Marks & Spencer and for an extra £20 or £30 you could have it tailored to fit you perfectly - and nothing really looks better than a tailored suit. And because we're limited to jeans, T-shirts and suits, it's important to be confident with accessories to look good."

Source: Vogue.co.uk