Billericay male model David Gandy is on a mission to prove he is not just a “brainless idiot”.

David, 35, is best known for his modelling for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, Hugo Boss and Marks and Spencer.

But the former Billericay School pupil is diversifying by launching an alternative career as an entrepreneur.

In an interview for April’s edition of Red Magazine, David revealed he has bought luxury footwear brand David Preston in a bid to counter stereotypes about models.

He said: “Models are as popular as bankers! You’re seen as a brainless idiot – paid a fortune to do very little. I don’t want to just be known as the man in the pants.”

The model is branching out into other businesses, also investing in a sock company and a protein icecream project, as well as working as an ambassador for the British Fashion Council.

He said: “We’re terrible at investing in our own companies. It upsets me that half the companies on Savile Row aren’t British-owned.

“When I see a small British company I believe in, I’m in the privileged position to give it a chance.

“London is an extraordinary place to be, and we should be proud of our great brands. I’m proud to have stuck here. I belong to England.”

Basildon Standard:

The full interview with David Gandy appears in April's Red Magazine

David’s depiction as the “man in the pants” has led to comparisons with fellow Brit David Beckham, who famously modelled underwear for Armani.

He said: “Well, I did the white pants in 2006, and then he did Armani. I became an ambassador for whisky, and now he has his whisky brand. I don’t think we’re in competition, though, and hopefully people should be proud there are two Essex guys taking on the world, promoting Britishness.”