Who Is Aurora James?

Aurora James is a Canadian fashion designer and the creative director of Brother Vellies. She is known for her unique and eye-catching designs, as well as her commitment to sustainable fashion.

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Who is Aurora James?

Aurora James is a Canadian fashion designer and the creative director of Brother Vellies, a luxury accessories brand that she founded in 2013. James was born in Toronto and raised in Aurora, Ontario. She studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London before moving to New York City to pursue a career in fashion.

James has been recognized for her work in promoting ethically-sourced and sustainable materials, as well as her support of local artisans and craftspeople. In 2018, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

The Early Years

Aurora James was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1980. She is of Jamaican and Canadian descent. Her parents immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in the 1970s. Aurora grew up in Toronto and attended high school there. After graduation, she moved to New York City to attend fashion school.

The “Fashionable” Years

From a very young age, Aurora James always had a strong interest in fashion. After moving to New York City at the age of 18 to pursue modeling, she quickly realized that the industry was not for her. It wasn’t until she met stylist Annabel Tollman that her love for fashion was reignited. Aurora began assisting Annabel on set, and it was then that she realized her true calling was in styling.

The Business Years

Aurora James is a Canadian-born fashion designer and the creative director ofBrother Vellies, a luxury accessories brand that she launched in 2013. The Brooklyn-based company, which specializes in handmade African-inspired shoes, handbags and other items, has been worn by celebrities including Solange Knowles and Naomi Campbell. In 2015, James was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the retail and e-commerce category.

The Later Years

Aurora James was born in New York City in 1873 to wealthy parents. She attended private schools and was raised with a strong sense of entitlement. After her father’s death, James inherited a large sum of money, which she used to travel the world. She became known for her partying ways and love of expensive clothing and jewelry. In 1895, she married a French count, but the marriage ended in divorce a few years later.

James continued to travel and party throughout her life. She was arrested several times for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. In 1912, she was involved in a scandalous love affair with a married Italian prince. James died in 1935 at the age of 62.

The Family Years

Aurora James was born in North Dakota in 1925 to Norwegian immigrant parents. Her father, Jacob, had come to America in 1901, and her mother, Ingeborg, followed in 1902. The family first settled in Minnesota, but later moved to North Dakota, where they homesteaded on the outskirts of town. Aurora was the youngest of six children and grew up speaking Norwegian at home. When she was old enough, she began attending the local school, where she quickly learned English.

Aurora’s childhood was a happy one. She loved spending time outside, exploring the prairie around her family’s farm. She also loved spending time with her siblings and cousins. The family would often gather together to sing Norwegian folk songs and dance around the living room.

Aurora’s idyllic childhood came to an end when she was just 13 years old. Her father suddenly passed away, leaving her mother to support the family on her own. In order to make ends meet, Aurora began working odd jobs around town after school and on weekends. She worked as a babysitter, a maid, and a sales clerk at the local grocery store. It was hard work, but she was determined to help her family any way she could.

Despite the struggles of the Great Depression, Aurora James managed to graduate from high school in 1933. She then went on to attend college at the University of North Dakota, where she studied journalism. After graduation, she worked as a reporter for a small newspaper in Bismarck before landing a job at The New York Times in 1936.

The Philanthropic Years

Aurora James is a Canadian-born, New York-based fashion designer and the creative director ofBrother Vellies, a luxury footwear and accessories brand that specializes in reviving traditional African designs. In 2016, James was selected as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in Art & Style, and in 2017, she was named to Business of Fashion’s list of “500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry.”

In 2018, James launched the 15 Percent Pledge, asking major retailers to commit to dedicating 15 percent of their shelf space to products from Black-owned businesses. After Nordstrom announced its participation in the Pledge, Target quickly followed suit. To date, more than 150 businesses have joined the 15 Percent Pledge movement.

The Legacy

From her great-great-grandfather’s work as a sharecropper in South Carolina to her grandfather’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II to her father’s advocacy as a member of the Black Panther Party, Aurora James’ family has always been committed to social justice. So it is no surprise that she herself has dedicated her life to fighting for what she believes in.

Aurora James is the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, a sustainable footwear brand that works with artisans in Africa to create handmade products. She is also the co-founder of The Other Spot, a brick-and-mortar store in Brooklyn that sells products made by Black and brown designers. In addition to her work as an entrepreneur, James is an active philanthropist and supporter of social justice causes.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, James has always been inspired by her hometown’s diversity and creativity. After studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she worked for several fashion brands before launching Brother Vellies in 2013. With its focus on traditional African design and sustainable manufacturing methods, Brother Vellies is bringing African culture to the global fashion industry while supporting local economies and preserving traditional artisanal skills.

In 2018, James was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 In Retail & E-commerce for her work with Brother Vellies. She has also been recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in Business and by Refinery29 as one of their 29 Girls Changing the World.

Aurora James Today

Aurora James is a fashion designer and the creative director of Brother Vellies, a luxury footwear and accessories brand she founded in 2013. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the brand is known for its unique take on traditional African design, as well as its commitment to sustainable and ethical production practices.

In recent years, James has become increasingly vocal about her commitment to social and racial justice, using her platform to shine a light on issues like police brutality, mass incarceration, and voting rights. In 2020, she launched the “15 Percent Pledge” campaign, urging major retailers to commit to doing business with Black-owned businesses. To date, several major retailers have taken the pledge, including Sephora, Nordstrom, and Net-a-Porter.


All in all, Aurora James is a very talented and ambitious fashion designer who has accomplished a lot in her young career. She is the creative force behind the successful Brother Vellies brand, and she has also collaborated with many other well-known fashion brands. She is an advocate for sustainable fashion, and she strives to use her platform to help promote social and environmental justice.

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