Meet Armando Cabral, The Model Turned Shoemaker

Armando Cabral is a model who has become entrepreneur in the luxury shoe industry. He walked international runways for Dior, Calvin Klein, and Gucci at the height of his modeling career.

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Cabral had an eye for entrepreneurship while building his mark on the runway, having been exposed to high-caliber industries such as fashion, beauty, and entertainment. When the time came, he knew exactly what industry he wanted to invest in: men’s footwear. In 2008, he launched his eponymous range of finely crafted men’s shoes.

Cabral created all of his Armando Cabral shoes, including red deerskin leather high-tops, with his personal lifestyle in mind, according to Kinfolk. According to the site, he stressed sleek style, comfort, and Italian craftsmanship when developing.

“The Armando Cabral man is a global nomad,” he told the platform. “I believe the modern man requires a shoe that conveys a timeless aesthetic without sacrificing comfort.”

Cabral’s decision to launch his shoe line was driven by the counsel of J. Crew CEO and personal mentor Mickey Drexler, who advised him to constantly listen to customers. This had a significant impact on his shoe creation, encouraging him to develop something elegant and comfortable but not overly pricey, he claimed. His shoe line was available at Mr Porter and Bloomingdale’s by 2017. Today, the brand can also be found at New York’s Rockefeller Center and is worn by celebrities such as Afrobeats singer Burna Boy.

“To me, being an entrepreneur is a gift,” he said. “My greatest professional accomplishment has to be building this brand. It’s something I’ve done from the ground up, on my own. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Cabral was born in Guinea-Bissau, a West African country. When he was four years old, his family relocated from Africa to Portugal. His father sent him to London to study business as well as to divert his attention away from modeling in Portugal.

Nonetheless, he pursued modeling after being discovered by a modeling agency while studying in London. According to the Rockefeller Center, he designs from a distinct perspective, reflecting the people who have shaped him as a person. The model-turned-entrepreneur stated that his goal is to immerse the buyer in his global roots.

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