Singer/songwriter, age 35

Ever since I was a teenager, I've worn the same style of black leather boots; they help me feel safe when I walk. They protect me both literally and metaphorically against all the dangers in life. When you begin to explore the world, you find many trials and tricks that you must be wary of. I travel so much that it's important not to lose your way, spiritually. I feel this style of shoe can guide me when the road ahead is unclear.

When I was 15 I used to wear black all the time because I was heavily into rock music. Nowadays, I still wear black most of the time, but it has become a colour that embraces everything inside me – it captures so many feelings and possibilities. In black, I can be elegant, or classic, or moody; it's a combination of all the colours so you are in the middle of everything.

Jeans are important. My parents always dressed me in them and they'd say: "Even if you are wearing the same jeans as everyone else, you can be unique". The possibility to choose in my life, the options available to me, these things all exist in a pair of jeans.

How you look in something depends on your attitude. I started to choose my own clothes when I was a teenager. I discovered that I had an independent mind and was able to build my own style, which at the time came with the music I was listening to.

The fashion in Colombia generally follows the same patterns as in the US and the UK, but it all comes a bit later. Now I spend half my time in Colombia and half the time in the States. I feel my essence is the same wherever I am, but when I'm in Colombia I feel connected to my roots.

There is nothing I would change about my body, because ageing doesn't scare me. The present is important for me, because it's the conclusion of my life so far. I think I just feel comfortable the way I have behaved through my life. Anyhow, the natural conclusion is always the best.

A life in brief

Born Juan Esteban Aristizabul Vasquez on 9 August 1972 in Medellin, Colombia, Juanes is considered the biggest name in Latin music. He has won 12 Grammy Awards and sold 10m records worldwide, and is also famous for his political activism, particularly his work to educate people about anti-personnel landmines. After he set up a foundation to support victims of landmines, Time magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people. He lives with his wife and their daughter and shares his time between Colombia and Florida. His new album La Vida ... Es Un Ratico is out now on Wrasse records

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