The name Vellies comes from the Afrikaans word “vel,” which means skin. Later, it was shortened to veld, which means “field,” referring to the country’s rich history of cattle ranching. The resulting shoes are characterized by their natural imperfections and the color of the sole, which often varies slightly. The modern version of the iconic shoe is unisex and made of vegetable-dyed Kudu leather.
Originally from South Africa, the Brother Vellies shoemaking workshop is still home to traditional craftsmen who work in the region. The company’s unique approach focuses on artisanal jobs in rural communities. Each pair is handcrafted in an African workshop by skilled artisans, maintaining the spirit of their ancestors. The company’s owner, Aurora James, also travels the world to engage with local artists and experience diverse cultures. And if you’re a shoe lover, you should try the brand’s Tyre sandals.
Inspired by the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, Brother Vellies created the original “vellie” style in the early 2000s. Since then, it has grown to encompass a variety of styles. For example, its sandals feature inventive materials and design elements like cap toes and heel flourishes. All of its footwear is made by artisans in Africa, with the exception of the ‘Velese’ sandal, which is made of sustainable kudu leather. Similarly, it uses cork and denim for its leather. However, its prices are quite high, as it is only available through special orders.
As a brand, James has developed a unique style and has collaborated with producers in South Africa and Namibia. The original workshop used to make the vellies is still in operation. In addition, the brand has also collaborated with a New York-based designer, William Okpo, who has worked with local artisans in Namibia. Currently, 90 percent of the company’s orders are placed online. According to James, the sales of these online products are sustained by their online store. He said that 40 percent of customers place repeat orders after six months.
The brand also works with artisans in Africa to create the shoes. The company sources materials from Namibia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali to ensure that the product is of the highest quality. While James and his team are not available for interviews, they do provide the necessary details about the brand and the artisans. As the name suggests, the founder of the company travels to various countries to meet these artisans. The result of his trip is a series of collaborations and partnerships with people involved in different craft.
Founded in the African country of Kenya, Brother Vellies is a well-known brand in the fashion industry. Its footwear is inspired by the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. The brand has expanded into several different styles, and they are made with environmentally friendly materials. It is worth noting that its shoes are handmade by artisans from different African countries. The shoe is made by the same craftsman in each country. It is not a mass produced shoe, but it is unique and has a distinct character.
The brand works with artisans in Africa to create the shoes, which are handmade by the artisans. Located in Namibia, the veldskoen are made by hand by eight men in a workshop. The boots are made with vegetable-dyed Kudu leather, which has many imperfections. This is a good sign, as it helps the artisans maintain their skills. Despite the high cost of making these handmade leather goods, they are made in the traditional way.
The company sources their materials from artisans in Africa. They are made with recycled rubber and organic cotton. Each pair of Vellies shoes is handcrafted by local artisans in Africa. They are made in South Africa, but they are also sold in other countries. Using the same materials as their counterparts, the artisan will use a unique dye for each shoe. The colors and styles will be unique to the owner. The shoe will be designed by the local craftspeople.
Unlike other shoe brands, the brand is also committed to preserving the environment. By sourcing their products from African artisans, James and his team help create a better world. These artisans work with recycled rubber and produce the high-quality leather needed to make these shoes. The process of making these products is not only beautiful, but also sustainable. In fact, the brand works with local artists in different parts of the world to ensure that their shoe is as beautiful as possible.