How did I find out about Brother Vellies?
Man Repeller did a feature story on Aurora James in 2016. The article was titled Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments. After seeing this article and the images of Aurora and her apartment I thought, this is a cool girl. So… naturally, when you find a cool girl you want to know everything about her. Especially if they are cool enough to be included on Man Repeller.
As I got to digging, I found another article on Man Repeller that dated back to 2014 about an up-and-coming Toronto native who was sustaining artisanal jobs in Africa for women with her company called Brother Vellies
What is Brother Vellies?
A fashion company who’s goal is to introduce the rest of the world to traditional African-style footwear. Each shoe is handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Morocco, or Kenya– providing work and income to local community members.
Brother Vellies highlights tradition and creates long-lasting “forever shoes” to be sold around the world. All the while, focusing on sustainability.
“Most of our classic shoes are made using Kudu leather, an animal byproduct resulting from a government mandated culling due to overpopulation. Much of the meat is sold at local markets or donated.”
Why am I obsessed?
While I still don’t have a single Brother Vellies shoe in my closet, I’ve window-media shopped for awhile now. I love the brand and it’s mission to empower women of color in Africa. And most specifically, its connection to Morocco. When I saw the traditional Babouche house shoe on the BV webpage, I was stunned by the $235 price tag for the same shoe I purchased in a market for what would be $10 American dollars. But when I take into consideration the business-sustainability platform associated with the BV Babouche, I must quote the famous word-connecter Becalis Almanzar “MONEY MOVES!!!”
Brother Vellies shoes and bags can be seen sported by celebrities like Winnie Harlow, Imaan Hammam, Lupita Nyong’o, and even Beyonce.
The Brother Vellies products are fabulous and if I had $500+ to spare, I would invest. Below I’ve included some of my favorite shots all screen grabbed from the BV Instagram.