Heritage is a beautiful thing, and even more so when it’s displayed unabashedly, as in Aurora James’ Brother Vellies. The winner of 2015’s CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund, Brother Vellies is an accessories label that while designed in Brooklyn, New York, is handcrafted in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Morocco. The founder of the brand, Aurora James, not only wanted to “introduce the world to her favourite traditional African footwear” but also wanted to “create and sustain artisanal jobs in Africa.”
The influence of these African artisans is clear to see in each of the designs, from the dune-coloured python sandals to Zebra slides named after the Tanzanian region of Zanzibar. James’ beautiful creations thus serve a dual purpose of contributing to the industry both artistically and socially.
The brand also recently launched a new program entitled “SOMETHING SPECIAL” that sees those who sign up receive a small, handcrafted treasure each month, like a ceramic vase or hand-poured candle.