Aurora James Talks Brother Vellies and Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation

The final 5 years have been a whirlwind for Aurora James. After college in Toronto and operative in Los Angeles, she took a outing to Morocco that would perpetually change a arena of her career. Aurora founded Brother Vellies in Jan 2013 with a purpose of preserving a qualification of pattern via a African continent by formulating a tolerable business model.

Brother Vellies Moonrise Sneaker Linen, $265.

In a years since, she’s won a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, won pattern fans in Beyoncé, Hailey Baldwin and Zendaya, and totally flipped a judgment of unwavering fashion. “There was no plans during all,” Aurora told Teen Vogue about starting her business. “There have been a integrate of other high conform brands that attempted to furnish a oppulance product in Africa and one is out of business and a other seems to be a small disconnected. we consider for me as a lady of color, whose father was innate and lifted in Ghana, we have a turn of honour in producing on that continent that also feels fundamental to my person. So, I’ve unequivocally always only operated from my gut.”

Brother Vellies Bintang Disc bag, $395.

In further to her approach tie to a continent where her boots and purses are made, she was self-funded, that forced her to make regressive and courteous choices about a expansion of her brand. Her latest collection introduces Aurora’s constant following to hats with Gigi Burris Millinery and sweaters with Andry Sisson for The Women’s March. But as Brother Vellies grows and expands a reach, a core stays a same. “I consider we have been a large disciple for unwavering conform and unwavering consumerism,” she said. “A lot of a work I’ve been doing has stayed behind a scenes, articulate to other designers about prolongation opportunities and changes that can happen. For me, a some-more designers feel desirous to change their prolongation methods, a bigger a win is for all of us.”

Brother Vellies x Ace Jig sandal.

This alertness also relates to formulating a transparent eminence between appreciation and appropriation. “I consider there is always a event for dialogue,” she says. “The whole thing is that we don’t wish to harm or provoke any other, so when there is a grey area it’s about reaching out for feedback and removing to a base of a pain. Fashion is ostensible to be something that helps us shun to a enchanting place in a brains. Not something used as a apparatus to annoy people. If we conclude certain informative clothing, find a approach to wear it that is suggested by a people themselves.”

Brother Vellies x Gigi Burris Visor In Blush, $413.

So, aside from saving a planet, gripping us woke, and walking down Met Gala red carpets with Solange Knowles, what’s subsequent for Aurora and Brother Vellies? “My idea is to open some-more brick-and-mortars in a future. We indeed only relocated a store and are vehement to open it soon!”

Related: Aurora James Joins “Fashion Culture and Justice: A NYFW Dialogue” Panel Held during Parsons School of Design


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