When Kanye West treks all the way to the far corners of the west side of New York city—in the rain—to see your pieces during New York Fashion Week, you know you’re winning in the game of life. Yet the designer and founder of Brother Vellies, Aurora James, remains humble. This finalist in Vogue’s prestigious fashion fund award prides herself on not only her designs, but also the meaning behind them. You see, for James, it’s not just about a beautiful pair of shoes, but the purpose and resources they provide. Her line, which takes aesthetic cues from traditional African footwear, creates sustainable jobs throughout the continent by employing local artisans in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco.
James has told EBONY during a previous conversation: “We are trying to create solutions by empowering women through fashion opposed to them heavily relying on aid. Everyone has to buy a pair shoes, so why not buy a pair that allows women to care of themselves? It’s a win-win for everyone.”
As a beacon of hope in the often self-indulgent world of fashion, James kept to the DNA of the brand for her Spring 2016 collection, with offerings of intricately beaded gladiator sandals, buttery soft slides and mules, plus the praiseworthy fur clogs, which were all featured in a neutral palette. Cohesive and beautifully executed, it seems Brother Vellies will be the “it” shoes for next spring.
Continue on the NYFW SS16 adventure with EBONY Fashion Editor, Ericka Goodman, and follow her on Twitter @Ericka_Editor.