To Kill For:
Founded in 2013 by Toronto-Native Aurora James, Brother Vellies was created with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive, offering unique and stunning luxury shoes and accessories.
Words by Luisa Tarantino
Fashion Editor Justine Le
Making handcrafted, artisanal shoes and accessories all over the globe, Brother Vellies prides itself on creating luxury pieces that “celebrate cultural histories and timeless design.” James’ varied and impressive background in fashion, journalism, music and the arts, and horticulture play a role in the creation of her one-of-a-kind designs. Her designs are simply to kill for: contemporary and trendy, yet timeless and versatile, proving they’ll stand the test of time — coming in a variety of beautiful warm neutral shades with occasional rich, vibrant pops of colour. Classic silhouettes to statement pieces prove James’ talent in design, attesting to her CFDA Award nomination received in 2018.
Even more, Brother Vellies is a sustainable brand that values the artisans that make their products, the places in which the products are made, as well as the materials. Materials are sourced from a variety of by-product materials from farmers across the globe such as vegetable-tanned leathers, soling from recycled tires, hand-carved wood, and floral dyed feathers, for example, with products produced in a variety of countries and cities such as South Africa, Kenya, Mexico Morocco, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Italy, Haiti and New York City.
Aurora James is also the creator of the 15% Pledge, a pledge asking for retailers in the United States and in Canada to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses. Read what Indigenous and Black Candian designers have to say about the 15% Pledge here.
*All images are from Brother Vellies.
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