For anyone of a certain generation, the opening bars to Etta James’s ‘I just wanna make love to you’ are likely to bring up recollections of one particular TV advert.
Its protagonist was an especially handsome young British model called Andrew Cooper stripping off his T-shirt on a warm summer’s day. The advert went viral before going viral was even a thing – and so the ‘Diet Coke lawnmower man’ was born.
Cooper has come a long way since those days, appearing in hundreds of advertising campaigns and walking in countless fashion shows for designers as varied as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger and Bottega Venetta.
He’s shot opposite Kate Winslet, as well as commercials with Claudia Schiffer and Olivia Wilde, too. (Nice work if you can get it.)
It stands to reason, then, that after 22 years in the business, he should know a thing or two about how to look your best.
We caught up with him to find out about his style essentials – and the launch of his new grooming company, The Fellowship.
What project are you most excited about?
I’m currently in the final stage of launching a new business, The Fellowship. It’s a men’s grooming brand: essential products for every man that deliver performance but with natural and vegan ingredients and sustainable packaging.
It’s something I have been working on for more than five years now. The bigger vision is to empower men to look their best and to feel confident. The right products can really help you get there.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
It’s incredibly difficult to pin it down to one. I have been lucky to work on so many great projects with wonderful people.
I think the proudest accomplishment to date would be building The Fellowship, as it’s been a product of all my experiences over the past 20 years – and there have been no corners cut to deliver the best quality possible.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
I wish I had gone to drama school and finished my education. I moved to London when I was 16 to pursue a career in music and fell into modelling. As much as it gave me amazing opportunities, it’s a disjointed career that provides little structure.
I found myself comfortably earning money which was great, but also running around the world and living out of a bag from the age of 18, not ever really knowing what was next.
What do you still hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
I have a long bucket list with plenty of adventure. In terms of career, I would love to be in a play at The National Theatre.
With my current commitments, I can’t really look at theatre work, but it’s a long-term dream and something I would love to do when the kids leave for college or university.
Who is / was your biggest inspiration?
I have so many who have influenced me. Peter Lindbergh was my favourite photographer and a man I truly enjoyed talking to on set. He also took the most amazing pictures.
What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?
I have a few, but my navy cashmere coat from Dunhill is up there with my favourites.
I was given it by John Ray while working with the brand a few years ago. It’s just the perfect coat that can be worn in so many ways.
What’s your favourite accessory?
I love watches and have a decent collection. Over the years I have bought them from all over the world while travelling. Each one has a story which I love. My favourite would be a black Rolex Daytona; it’s just perfect, whether casual or formal.
What items do you take on holiday and why?
Plenty of swim shorts as I like to spend every day in the ocean or pool. My new favourite brand would be CDLP. I make sure I take my yoga mat (Liforme) and a good pair of running shoes.
One habit I have developed over the years travelling is that after arriving in a new location I would take a long jog and get my bearings.
I’d need a chess set and a pack of cards to keep the kids entertained.
I also make sure to take a great face and body moisturiser to help keep my skin in great condition; my choice would be The Fellowship Advanced Moisturiser and Toning Body Moisturiser.
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Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?
Yes – a Smythson travel wallet I left on a plane. By the time I realised, I went back to my seat and it had gone.
I also managed to lose a very expensive pair of vintage Nike Air Jordans. I was convinced for years they were in a box somewhere in storage as I have moved house a few times while away.
Unfortunately, I finally went through all the boxes, and they were nowhere to be seen.
What’s next on your shopping list?
I’m currently finishing off renovating our home so it would be furniture. I am looking at a pair of Thomas Oulton Yeti Chairs and an Infrared Sauna.
What would you buy if money was no object?
I would purchase a yacht. I spent my childhood on the water and I was lucky to sail around the world with my dad. Those experiences are something I want to replicate and share with my children.