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Get To Know: 9 Things I Learned About Designer, Aurora James

7:09 PM

Brother Vellies Designer, Aurora James
Aurora James is a girl after my own heart. Not only did she grew up in Jamaica but she is making it her creative mission to sustain jobs with artisans in Africa with her Brother Vellies shoe brand. She was on Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso recently chatting it up. Sophia and Aurora had an enlightening and in-depth discussing her upbringing which includes being a High school dropout and how she used her Woolly Pocket money to start her niche brand, Brother Vellies. I listed some 11 core points that resonated with me. I do encourage you to take a listen to this episode.
  • Grew up in Toronto, NJ and Jamaica.
  • First Job Created a babysitter club in grade 6. Then worked in retail stores such as Club Monaco, J Crew and Holt Renfrew.

Brother Vellies Designer, Aurora James

  • Founded the idea of Brother Vellies during a back packing trip in Africa. This is where she meet artisans who were makings shoes but figuring out a way to keep their jobs.
  • From being the Fashion Director at Gen Art, she took two years off to build vertical garden for Woolly Pockets.

Brother Vellies Designer, Aurora James

  • She sold her first pair of Vellies at the Hester Street fair in NYC.
  • The 'Burkina' Slide is the Brother Vellies best seller. The shoes are handwoven by women in Burkina Faso, West Africa. These same women make and vegetable dye the thread used on the sandals. The fabric is then sent to Ethiopia where the shoes are constructed.

See the Burkina slides below:

  • Aurora James is the first designer to win CFDA VOGUE Fund and get placed in the CFDA's Fashion Incubator program within the same year.

Brother Vellies Designer, Aurora James

  • Aurora dedicated her CFDA Award win speech to the people in Africa for handmaking the Brother Vellies shoes but bold addresses the audience in the room, if they are going to take inspiration from Africa please include the people in Africa in the process.

  • Her advice: "Failure is a finite thing. When you keep going you're still writing the story, so you're not failing, you're still turning it into a win. It's just chapter in the book."
Brother Vellies Designer, Aurora James

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