If you have not heard of Brother Vellies, I blame you…
You have chosen to live in a world where accountability and sustainability are dictated to you by companies and brands who have no real idea what those words mean. You also probably weren’t exposed to the Black woman owned couture brand, because fashion pretends those two things don’t exist (period).
Started with sustainability and accountability at its core, Brother Vellies holds those words to be self evident with every ethically sourced pair of shoes, socks and silhouette.
Created by fashion vet, Toronto native/New York transplant Aurora James, Brother Vellies is a culmination of her fashion fantasy, where goods are produced primarily in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia. The brand has expanded and also sources from Mexico, Morocco, Italy, Haiti, Burkina Faso and NYC.
They also have a special element to their brand strategy that is key for couture: nothing goes on sale.
You pay for the handcrafted and ethically sourced item of your choice and you pay the craftsman/woman who took the time to make you look good.
Founded in 2013, James—who doubles as the company spokesman and resident model (along with Issa Rae and Snoh Aalegra (just to name drop a few)—wanted to create one-of-a-kind pieces that spoke to her humanitarianism and her panache for horticulture, while giving a world’s eye view to the creative beauty of artisans who may not otherwise have a voice.
The innovative and thoughtful story Brother Vellies has created can now be seen daily in Brooklyn as they partnered with black creatives, Adrienne Raquel (photographer) and Anok Yai (model) to produce a contactless campaign during quarantine that plastered the latest collection on the sides of electrical boxes, walls and telephone polls.
There was an excitement and beauty to the ads as Yai’s dark skin showcased the neutral tones and creamy pastels from various designers. Something Brooklyn doesn’t see as often as it should.
As Brother Vellies heads into Fall, you’ve got time to save up for your next great piece; like the Honey Mamba Boots, or you can pop into their Bodega and grab some Cloud Socks to keep you warm through these quarantine nights. Either way you win, and help.