Toronto-native and New York City-transplant, Aurora James is the Creative Director and Founder of luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies. Founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs, Brother Vellies is now handmade across the globe. Prior to founding Brother Vellies, James amassed an impressive resume of industry experience. Her background in fashion, journalism, art, photography, and horticulture joins a forever-passion for artisanship, design, and humanitarianism to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces you will have in your wardrobe forever.
Brother Vellies is worn regularly by dedicated followers including Beyonce, Meghan Markle, Zendaya, Rihanna, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen and Solange.
In June 2020, Aurora founded The Fifteen Percent Pledge, an initiative that urges retail giants to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses by creating clear business strategies and attainable goals. The Fifteen Percent Pledge has since been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Vogue. Within the first year, over 2 dozen major corporations dedicated to The Fifteen Percent Pledge, effectively diverting over $5B in capital to Black entrepreneurs in the United States.
in conversation with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
RHW: When are you frugal?
AJ: With my time.
RHW: When are you extravagant?
AJ: With my love.
RHW: What keeps you in bed?
AJ: The sun coming into my window.
RHW: What do you admire in a man?
AJ: Honesty and loyalty.
RHW: What do you admire in a woman?
AJ: Strength. Courage.
RHW: What will you always do?
AJ: Be true to myself.