Armando Cabral defines the term supermodel in today’s male model industry, with numerous campaign shoots and venture into fashion industry himself Cabral shows no signs of slowing down. Armando started his career as an exclusive for Calvin Klein during the era of Italo Zucchelli today he is the face of fashion giants such as Massimo Dutti and COS.
Editor Ana Markovic talks with Armando Cabral about his beginnings, venture into fashion as a designer, and the stillness brought on by Year 2020. Continue to our interview and exclusive shoot by photographer Fernando Sippel:
Hi Armando, hope you are staying safe and healthy. – I am grateful that I’m in good health, safe and sound. Thank you.
Take us back to the beginning. How did you become a model? What was your big break? – I started modeling in Lisbon, Portugal. Shortly after I went to London to study (Business), and friends incentivized me continued. I then got signed, and started traveling. My first big break was with Calvin Klein in Milan. It was my first season, and I was booked exclusively for their runway show. After that everything started to happen.
You worked with some of the most influential photographers and brands. Do you have a favorite cover shoot? – Wow, It’s a lot to choose from. But I will go with the last cover of Details Magazine, 31 of the World’s Top Male Models. That shoot was a reunion for me with some of my colleagues and friends that I haven’t seen in a while. It felt good to be all in the same room, and in cover.
I remember very well, during my time when fashion was just about having one or two minority models to paint the picture. It’s great to finally see fashion being a melting pot of diversity and inclusion. Better yet, it doesn’t seem to be a trend.
What was the most exciting project you’ve been part of? – Last November I went to Marrakech to shoot a campaign for a good friend of mine, Dan May, for his label, SMR Days. It was during my birthday weekend and so the treat I had was unforgettable.
As a fashion icon, what do you think makes a great model, and what is the secret to the longevity in the industry? – Well, I think before, a long time ago, modeling was about being good looking, tall and handsome and that’s that. Now days, it’s more than that. I think clients look for models that are total package. Which to me is the secret to a long career. In my case for example, I have other interests, I started my own brand, and my academic background allows me to discuss and talk about any topic. All that somehow makes you unique today.
Do you still enjoy modeling? – I still do enjoy modeling. I am lucky that I have few clients that are my long time clients and we still work together, and so it’s more like being around old time friends. That part is nice.
You and your brother have worked together on many occasions for brands like Balmain and more recently Zara. Are those projects always more special and do you give each other advice about modelling? (We asked your brother the same question) – It’s always fun working with my brother. In fact, his first big job modeling was our first H&M campaign together. I think the only time I ever had to give him advice was for the H&M job. He’s such an incredible model that he does not need much of my advice.
Do you think that the fashion industry is becoming truly more inclusive? -Yes! Fashion has definitely become more inclusive in recent years. I remember very well, during my time when fashion was just about having one or two minority models to paint the picture. It’s great to finally see fashion being a melting pot of diversity and inclusion. Better yet, it doesn’t seem to be a trend.
You modeled for the best designers, how much they influenced your own vision of fashion? – My whole modeling career has influenced my fashion design career. I have worked with great fashion houses, designers and stylists that influenced my own fashion sensibilities. It’s been a great learning experience throughout the years.
Was it difficult to become a footwear designer? – It wasn’t easy or difficult. The challenge I had was that I didn’t study fashion. My academic background is Business and Finance. But I combined that academic background with my years of fashion, to create a team and concept that could translate my ideas into a winning formula.
How would you describe the ARMANDO CABRAL brand? – Armando Cabral was established to offer premium footwear options that reflect the lifestyle I lead, and the lifestyle of my customers. Deeply inspired by timeless design, easy elegance and luxurious comfort, the collection artfully merges minimalist design with intricate details and technical construction made by Italy’s finest artisans.
How do you start your creative process? Do you have specific customers in mind while designing? – I design for myself in a way. As I mentioned, I am not a trained fashion designer. So my creative process comes from a consumer standpoint. I always start with these questions; What would I want in a shoe, does the quality matches my taste level and for what occasion I would be wearing them. Things like that, then my design team takes everything from there.
How do you think your design approach has changed since your debut collection and now? What’s changed since 2008 and what’s stayed the same? – Our designs certainly evolved since our launch. However, we try to keep it within the lines of our concept. We give value to our customers by way of our essential luxury footwear styling system. 3-4 working designs that pair with everything in their wardrobe. Uniquely suited to express our customer’s style with confidence.
What do you hope you bring to the fashion industry with your brand? – Bring bespoke design, ease and elegance together to promote a sense of luxury, individuality and community in everyone we touch.
Armando Cabral was established to offer premium footwear options that reflect the lifestyle I lead, and the lifestyle of my customers. Deeply inspired by timeless design, easy elegance and luxurious comfort, the collection artfully merges minimalist design with intricate details and technical construction made by Italy’s finest artisans.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming designs? – I am very excited about what we are working on right now for next year. Unfortunately you guys have to wait and see.
How do you see the footwear market today? And where do you see Armando Cabral brand in the future? – Footwear industry in the past 7 years has been more about how much can we sell it for than original and creative ideas. I do hope creativity will come back and quality over quantity will remain.
Did you learn anything new about yourself during the stillness of 2020? – I certainly did. I have learned stillness. I have not traveled since March.
How do you stay fit? What is your exercise regiment? – I live near the park – so I run a lot. I play soccer and basketball.
Do you have any beauty routine you stick to daily? – My beauty routine is very simple. I exercise a lot, I drink a lot of water, and I try to always get a good amount of sleep. My diet is healthy and consistent.
Your tip for taking the best photo? – Being photographed is almost like looking at your own self in the mirror. However you want to be seen, is what you should give to the camera. In other words, be yourself.
What makes you happy? – I am happiest the most, when with my family and friends and doing what I love the most.
Model Armando Cabral
Photographer Fernando Sippel – fernandosippel.com
Art Director Patrick James Reilly
Fashion Stylist Ricardo Bruno
Grooming by Pierra Lortie
Production Seven seas filmes
Keep up with Armando Cabral on Instagram @armando_cabral