David Gandy talks exclusively to Riddle Magazine about his work with Style for Soldiers

A Model Citizen 

David Gandy talks exclusively to Riddle about his ever-expanding range of charitable endeavours

Article by Nick Scott

Then there’s his work with Style for Soldiers  – the scheme whereby bespoke shirt maker Emma Willis produces luxury goods for former servicemen. “The scheme started with shirts and walking sticks, but we wanted to expand that,” explains David. “Now, we’re working with the UK leather industry with a view to building shoes for soldiers who have got prosthetic limbs and find it difficult to find any decent footwear, meaning they have to wear trainers with good suits. We’re also talking to a lot of brands about donating suits for the guys each year.”

The project, he says, has a hugely positive effect on the recipients’ psyches: effectively, it contributes towards their rehabilitation, following the trauma of severe injury in combat. “Sometimes when you speak to the soldiers, they’re very standoffish – ‘What do I want with a shirt?’ –  but then you get letters saying how empowered they feel from having this Jermyn Street, tailor-made bespoke shirt. The fully able bodied don’t know how lucky they are in terms of getting to wear clothes in a ‘normal’ way, as compared to someone who has one or more limbs missing. These guys protect our country, and come back and have to go back into civilian life – often something they have to do, not what they want to do. They’re competing for jobs. So dressing them in a certain way gives them an edge. We all know how it feels to walk into a room wearing a great suit, and how powerful the effect is when someone else does.”

Emma Willis' Style for Soldiers summer party at Spencer House, London, Britain on 24 Jun 2015.