Sometimes you really do have to travel to the other side of the world to find your calling. When Aurora James discovered vellies — the original desert boot handcrafted by artisans — on a trip to Africa, she didn’t just bring a few pairs back to her friends, she dropped the mic on souvenirs and started her own label to support local craftsmanship. Today, Brother Vellies has a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win under its belt, a major collection debut for SS16 that brought out Kanye West and a store in Manhattan. Keep your eye on Aurora, the Toronto-native is already quizzed regularly by Into the Gloss, Vogue and The Selby about her enviable style. Here, she talks business, wardrobe staples and her deep love for coconut oil.
YOUR PRESENTATION HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT AS ONE OF THE BEST NYFW DEBUTS EVER. HOW ARE YOU FEELING IN THE AFTERGLOW? Wow, really? That’s very flattering. I had four weeks to pull that together and it was really challenging. But as a Creative it’s always incredible to see your story come to life in a physical environment. I am glad that everyone on my team came together to make that show happen! I could not have done it without them. Seriously.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO RELAX AND UNWIND AFTER? I burned some palo santo and drank a glass of wine, woke up the next morning and got ready to do it all over again.
Things just keep getting better for Los Angeles and Ghana-based Osei-Duro.
We sat down with the rad women behind the ethical and sustainable line to find out what’s next after a successful Kickstarter campaign (home goods coming soon!) and some major moves towards creating a positive, more inclusive industry.
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Travel and compassion are just two of the key ingredients in Obakki’s elegant clothing for the woman on the go.
Sophisticated, classic, timeless, wearable… pretty much every adjective we can come up with for Obakki is something so many women’s wear labels strive to achieve. Treana Peake hit the nail on the head from the start when the Vancouver-based brand launched in 2005. Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson are a couple of fans. Today she interweaves inspiration from travel and humanitarianism seamlessly with the philanthropic counterpart Obakki Foundation. We caught up with her to find out more and quiz her on all of her favorite things.
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The duo behind Osei-Duro travel between Los Angeles and Ghana to create their coveted line of hand dyed and batiked women’s wear. Working with local garment workers and artisans at their studio in Ghana’s capital, Accra, is just one rad part of their story. From high school in Vancouver, BC, to creating a line that counts FLOTUS as a fan, Maryanne and Molly have had quite a ride together. And they’re really only just beginning – they have plans for more menswear and accessories and growing their network in Africa. We caught up with the longtime friends to find out more about how it all started and what’s inspiring them today.
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