LONDON — David of all trades.
“When I was young I always went up to London with my mum and grandmother to see the Christmas lights and do some Christmas shopping. Selfridges was always a highlight of the day; it seemed such a magical place,” Gandy told WWD, recalling his first memory of the store.
Wellwear launched in September 2021 with the aim of creating environmentally friendly staples in solid colors — no fuss, just comfortable clothing that Gandy finds himself drawn to outside of his work life.
He decided to pursue Selfridges for its work in the well-being and menswear spaces, plus it’s one of the few department stores that’s vocal about sustainability. The company has set out a 2030 target of reaching 45 percent of circular transactions to come from circular products and services by stocking products that meet its environmental and ethical standards.
“I have always loved how [despite being built by an American], Selfridges is an iconic British institution that constantly moves with the times,” Gandy said.
“It’s one of the most forward-thinking department stores in the U.K., with an impressive reach outside of the London bubble, which I think is so important and something brands can often forget,” he added.
Wellwear has been percolating in Gandy’s mind for more than a decade. In the meantime, he explored the trials and tribulations of setting up a brand via his partnerships and collaborations. His eight years of working with Marks & Spencer helped.
Gandy is very much in charge in front and behind the camera, where he has full creative control over his brand, but finds that “problem solving the day-to-day nitty gritty” is the most rewarding part of the job.
“Even though I have always been self-employed and run my own personal brand, being a founder of a fashion label is probably the hardest thing I have ever done,” explained Gandy, who praises his team for living and breathing the brand the same way he does.
He’s also putting on his mentor hat for the next generation of models. “I really enjoy giving young talented models a platform to flourish in the Wellwear campaigns. It’s been so rewarding seeing these models have success in their careers with the help of the images we have taken of them,” Gandy said.
“From Day One of launch, we never wanted to be classified as a loungewear brand,” added Gandy, who was keen on moving the narrative forward for Wellwear.
The brand has introduced new categories such as outerwear and swimwear in the last six months, which have been a “huge success.”
“We’re going to keep expanding the clothing collections we offer whilst keeping comfort at the forefront, and I’m definitely not ruling out other categories,” said Gandy, who for 2023 wants to focus on Wellwear’s international markets since 11 percent of sales are coming in from the U.S.
Last week, Gandy spent time in the U.A.E. competing in the 1000 Miglia UAE Experience, an invitation-only racing event where Wellwear was the official clothing partner. Gandy got to drive his Matilda XK120, which he has been waiting three years for.
Gandy is not hanging up his modeling waistcoat just yet, though. “I’ll of course be continuing to model for other brands as well as my own, and I am coming to the end of an extensive two-year house renovation so I am hoping to enjoy that with my young family,” he said.