When you meet Aurora James, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-winning designer of Brother Vellies — a footwear-centric accessories label that works with artisans in Africa — her shoes make a lot of sense.
They are unique. Bold. Many are like nothing you’ve seen before, and all communicate a strong point of view. That’s absolutely how I’d describe the designer. Her personal style is reflective of her inherent taste, as well as the colorful and sometimes complicated layering of cultures she’s been introduced to over the course of her life. So is her character, strong sense of self-worth and steady view of the world. She once gave me relationship advice with such conviction — and actually, it was about remaining convicted (in regards to self-respect and demanding respect) — that I thought for a moment she was channeling my mother.
It all makes so much sense when you hear her tell her story to Oh Boy host Jay Buim. There are other stories woven in, of course (the fight she got into with a journalism school professor, the time Martha Stewart loved her plants…) but she tells it so much better than I can. It’s her story, after all.
Headphones in, and enjoy.
Follow Aurora on Instagram @aurorajames. Follow Brother Vellies on Instagram @brothervellies and check out the website here. Be sure to follow our wonderful Oh Boy host Jay Buim on Instagram. Check his website out, too. Logo and feature illustration by Kelly Shami.