Armando Cabral: Sole Ties

arm2We see and hear about a ton of people who break into one field, then find their niche in a related field- one that is better suited for them to still follow their dream, and create a lane of their own. It happens quite often in music when an artist or group creates their own independent recording label after having some success under one of the major labels. Or in sports when a former player becomes a front office representative. These people have a certain level of creativity and unmatched passion for what they love, which allows them to think outside the box. Their minds aren’t limited to the typical, but geared towards breaking the mold. Model turned shoe designer, Armando Cabral, has shown how to effectively make a seemingly typical crossover, a not so typical .

Armando Cabral has become synonymous with the phrase male fashion model. Nearly every major event in high-fashion Armando has headlined or served as a featured guest. His popularity within the fashion industry as a model, needless to say, has played its role in catapulting his brand. However that isn’t the sole reason for his success. The quality and sheer versatility of his self-titled shoe and accessory line are what’s helped him gain the attention many people across the globe.

arm1Armando Cabral has successfully been able to blend the business casual shoe look, with the sneaker type of feel. Providing the consumer with a stylish, yet suitable pair of kicks for any occasion. An all-purpose shoe of sorts that you can wear to a formal event, and wear that same pair later on when it’s time to hang out with the fellas at the next big sporting event. As the brand continues to grow, they’ve added belts, scarves, handkerchiefs, blazers, jackets, and sandals to their repertoire.

Armando is from Portugal, which may not necessarily be a hotbed for transcendent fashion icons. But as with most other things, if you have the talent? You will be found! For Armando, he had to be pushed into modeling. A naturally shy guy, he was understandably nervous about doing it. He notes that his sister’s encouragement was what gave him the confidence to be able to do it. So in 2001, Armando signed to his first agency based in Portugal.

It wouldn’t be long before Armando landed his first modeling gig. When asked about his first time doing a catwalk, he admits he was nervous, being shy and all. But he was also struck with happiness because he was about to do something that he really enjoyed. When asked about it, he is quoted on nymag.com as saying, “My first job was a catwalk show. I was very nervous, and I remember at the time I was a very shy guy, but at the same time I was very happy knowing I was about to do something I enjoyed.” That was only the beginning. Armando was equally as gifted on the runway, as he was naturally shy.

That one job turned into numerous more, and ultimately led the model to becoming the face of many different brands, magazines, and fashion as a whole. In 2006 he moved to New York to fully pursue his modeling career. Armando then signed with the world famous IMG modeling agency, who’s had their fair share of exceptional models over the last few decades. A couple of the more notable models are supermodels Cindy Crawford and Tyra Banks. It was also in 2006 that Armando took to the runway for Dior Homme and Louis Vuitton for the first time.

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Armando had become a regular for Dior Homme’s fashion shows, having worked them several times over the years. He also walked for Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Lacoste as well. To say that being such a recognizable figure has its perks would be a sizable understatement. With his visibility peaking, and his career on the rise, Armando was named GQ Portugal’s Man of the Year in 2008.

A deserving Armando was incredibly humble, though being deemed with such a prestigious honor. He also remained hungry, and wanting more from himself, and his place in fashion. This was the beginning of Armando working on breaking into the fashion world in a different capacity: footwear. In an interview with fashion chronicle, Grandpa Style, Armando said, “I’ve always had the idea of starting my own shoe brand, and it has been a life-long passion of mine.” He continued, “Basically, I wanted to create a brand that reflects my personal tastes. A versatile shoe that combines both classic design with a casual feel.”

While the shoes may be a bit pricey, Armando assures that they are definitely worth it. “For the type of customer we are catering to, quality is everything. We want our customers to get the full value of their money by providing them with a product of the highest quality.”

Armando has since added womenswear to his collection, after learning of the market he had with women already buying his shoes in smaller sizes. The women’s line is made with similar versatility, and the same focus on the level of quality. Armando said it best with Grandpa Style:”Quality is timeless, and it is perfection; it means everything.”

– Blake Holmes