Armando Cabral is an iconic fashion model, footwear designer and lifestyle entrepreneur who is just as elegant inside as out.
If ever there was a person with inner style, then Armando is he. He exudes a natural style in such an effortless way and is the epitome of chic.
Born in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, he was then raised in Portugal where he started modeling in his teens. He had a spell in London where he combined his modeling with earning a business degree, before a few months working at private wealth management company convinced him the finance sector was not for him.
Then his modeling career really soared and next stop was New York, where he remains based more than a decade later.
That sense of well-traveled class and sophistication emanates from his work both in front of the lens and in his business enterprises, two skills which he has married perfectly in an admirable career.
He has graced the industry’s top shows and campaigns, including Balmain (alongside his brother Fernando), Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme, Thom Browne, H&M and J. Crew.
And his eponymous footwear line Armando Cabral, launched in 2009, combines fine craftsmanship and beauty with the needs of the modern metropolitan man, and mirror Armando’s own aesthetic and lifestyle.
But perhaps most importantly, he is man of grace and integrity whose experience we could all learn a lot from. So that’s why we asked him to take part in our ‘Who The F*** Are You?’ interview — 20 questions that get to the heart of who we are.
Who the f*** are you?
Great question. Who am I? Well, in resume, I am a father, model, entrepreneur, traveler and founder and creative director of my eponymous footwear and lifestyle brand Armando Cabral. Not all of me, but you get the point.
How are you feeling right now?
I feel alive, energized and ready to contribute in a much more meaningful way to my society. Considering what’s going in the world right now, my vision is clearer and the mission is set.
Where did you grow up and was it like?
I grew up in Lisbon, Portugal. Growing up in Lisbon was fun and exciting. The good weather, the great beaches and the food are certainly great contributing factors. To this day, Lisbon still is my favorite city in the world.
What excites you?
The opportunity to love, share and come together. The excitement of expressing my creativity, and live my life to the fullest.
What scares you?
There so many reasons to be scared right now. We need a major shift as a society. I am scared that my kids won’t have planet to live on if we don’t do something. I am scared of the divisiveness we are creating between races and the list goes on.
What is your proudest achievement?
Being a father of two most brilliant, beautiful and loving kids.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Saying goodbye to people I love.
Who is your greatest mentor, and what did they teach you?
My father undoubtedly is my greatest mentor. One of his greatest lessons to me was that life is about how you make people around you feel and your contribution in your society, basically he said, ‘A good name is better than a good fortune.’ I always remember that.
Who are your fictional and real life heroes?
Sidney Poitier is certainly one of my fictional heroes, and my dad yet again is my hero in real life.
What is your favorite item of clothing in your wardrobe?
A custom made double breasted tuxedo in hunter green by J. Crew. It was made for me for the CFDA Awards.
What music did you love age 13 — and do you still love it now?
It certainly was hip hop at the time. Growing up in Portugal, at that age, most kids were into Tupac Shakur. And I still listen to his music to this day.
What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?
My two favorites are, ‘The Shift’ by Dr Wayne Dyer and ‘Made in Japan’, autobiography of Sony Founder, Akio Morita. The Shift because of the spiritual awakening I took from it. Made in Japan because of the integrity of the Sony founder and his discipline in his quest to achieve greatness.
What is a movie that left a lasting impression on you?
I have many favorites, but I have to go with ‘To Sir With Love’ — Sidney Poitier. An incredible movie for the ages.
What is your favorite word or saying?
Is possible, never say never. Two hands are better than one. I have many…
What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?
Well, I would rather focus on what people have to say about me today, while alive. If it’s anything I can change then I could take the chance and change it. When I’m gone it will not mean much what others have to say. I guess it will be based on how they felt around me.
And finally, quickfire five favorites…
No so much of a car guy, but a drive Mercedes, only thing I guess I know.
Feijoada (Portuguese/Brazilian dish).
Nu Skin (the best natural product out there).
Clothing label ?