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Aurora James

10 Podcast Episodes

Latest 16 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Aurora James (Founder, Fifteen Percent Pledge): How Can We Create More Shelf Space for BIPOC Brands?

Mission Critical

Aurora James is a force to be reckoned with. Those of you who are tuned in to the world of fashion will likely recognize her name as the designer behind sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, a favourite amongst fashion heavyweights like Beyonce, Zendaya, and Solange (to name a few). You may also recognize her for gracing the cover of American Vogue’s coveted September issue in 2020 and, more recently, as the designer behind US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Tax the Rich’ gown worn to the 2021 Met Gala. But beyond the fold of fashion, she’s also been hard at work to create real and meaningful change within the larger community.In 2020, the Toronto-native and New York City transplant started her non-profit, the Fifteen Percent Pledge, in direct response to the wave of corporate statements issued during the Black Lives Matter movement. Focused on keeping these businesses accountable to racial equity, Aurora challenged the corporate community to commit at least 15 percent (which is roughly the proportion of the Black population in America) of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Today, that has manifested in a movement that has seen some of the world’s largest retailers sign on to help decrease the racial wealth gap.On today’s episode, Aurora and Lance talk about progress, community, and what it means to take the pledge. 

32mins

15 Sep 2021

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Aurora James | More Than One Thing with Athena Calderone

More Than One Thing with Athena Calderone

This week, fashion designer, activist, business owner, and CFDA Award Winner, Aurora James graces the podcast. Aurora is the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, the sustainable, ethically made, luxury, accessory brand. Always true to her vision of a more just world, she is also the founder of the 15% Pledge, which urges retailers to allocate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. But how did Aurora go from flunking out of college to getting crowned GQ’s Change Agents of the Year? Tune in to hear her tell about all the highs and lows–– including rebounding from nearly losing her business to COVID-19 by using only what she had at hand; the force of her mind, her belief in her community, and her community’s belief in her. She shares about the kind of passions you never give up on, starring on the cover of Vogue’s legendary September Issue, and her deep conviction that hope is an action you take, not a belief you hold.

54mins

3 Feb 2021

Similar People

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Aurora James Returns! The Founder of Brother Vellies and the Fifteen Percent Pledge is Back

Second Life

As the founder of Brother Vellies, a sustainable luxury accessories brand supporting local artisan economies all over the world, Aurora James has been pushing the fashion industry forward and reframing our definition of a luxury good for some time now. On this episode of Second Life, we’re welcoming Aurora back to discuss new projects that have solidified her status as a visionary changemaker and industry leader—including the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit advocacy organization urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr

23 Nov 2020

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Race in America: A Conversation with Aurora James

Washington Post Live

Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, joins The Post to discuss the 15 Percent Pledge, a campaign she created that challenges retailers to commit 15 percent of their inventory to black-owned businesses.

30mins

10 Jul 2020

Most Popular

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Aurora James of Brother Vellies

Business of HYPE

The New York based designer, by way of Toronto, created her cult label Brother Vellies in 2013 after discovering her love for Veldskoen (known as vellies or “desert boots”) during a trip to Africa. Worn by numerous celebrities from Beyonce and Solange to Zendaya, Brother Vellies garnered a cult following, having won the CFDA Fashion Fund in 2015. Rather than a one-to-one model, Aurora created Brother Vellies in hopes to give jobs to local artisans in Africa by collaborating with their workshops to commission shoes and sell them back in the U.S. She emphasizes that America’s constant need for “fixing” overseas countries have caused a depletion of jobs in Africa—large donations being one of them. Brother Vellies has managed to create roughly 2,000 jobs overseas whilst maintaining an ethos of sustainable practices—utilizing vegetable tanned leathers, recycled tires and locally sourced materials from farmers worldwide. Six years into the business, Aurora still feels the brand has much more to go, despite their rampant success. Tune in as she later discusses the importance of making sacrifices as an entrepreneur, the common misconception of fashion and much more. As always, thank you for tuning into HYPEBEAST Radio and Business of HYPE. Please don't forget to rate, comment and subscribe to our other shows MIC/LINE, The Anthropology, The HYPE Report and HYPETALKS. For more info:   Brother Vellies Website: https://brothervellies.com/ Brother Vellies Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brothervellies/?hl=en Aurora James Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aurorajames/?hl=en --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/businessofhype/support

58mins

2 Feb 2020

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Aurora James

Pia's Pod

Aurora James is the amazing designer and creative director of Brother Vellies, a shoe brand that focuses on sustainability and indigenous fabrics. We learn about her rise to success, starting out selling her early works at flea markets in Brooklyn, and now running her small empire of factories all over the world. This podcast is brought to you by our friends at Cash App, and produced by WestwoodWestwood.

1hr 28mins

2 Oct 2019

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Aurora James: Brother Vellies Founder and Creative Director

Second Life

There was a time when Aurora James never thought she'd have a seat at the proverbial table. Now, after dipping her toes in multiple industries, she's at the helm of the sustainable fashion company Brother Vellies and is proof that if you have a goal, you can make it happen, even if that means finding a new way of getting there. "I always knew that I wanted to work in fashion. I just knew that fashion wasn't working for me in a way that I needed it to," she tells us. Originally broadcast on August 8, 2018. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

47mins

5 Aug 2019

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Aurora James: Brother Vellies Founder

Second Life

There was a time when Aurora James never thought she'd have a seat at the proverbial table. Now, after dipping her toes in multiple industries, she's at the helm of the sustainable fashion company Brother Vellies and is proof that if you have a goal, you can make it happen, even if that means finding a new way of getting there. "I always knew that I wanted to work in fashion. I just knew that fashion wasn't working for me in a way that I needed it to," she tells Hillary Kerr on episode 25 of Second Life.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

45mins

6 Aug 2018

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Brother Vellies Founder - Aurora James

Girlboss Radio

Born in Toronto and based in Brooklyn, Aurora James dreamed up the idea for her crush-worthy shoe brand, Brother Vellies, while backpacking through Africa. She travels the globe designing, creating and sustaining artisanal jobs in Africa by employing cooperatives of women who specialize in shoemaking with natural materials. Through her work she’s learned a thing or two about collaboration, tradition, and personal development... and she’ll share that with us today. 

54mins

15 Nov 2017

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037 - Aurora James - Founder of Brother Vellies

Oh Boy by Man Repeller

When you meet Aurora James, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-winning designer of Brother Vellies -- a footwear-centric accessories label that works with artisans in Africa -- her shoes make a lot of sense. They are unique. Bold. Many are like nothing you've seen before, and all communicate a strong point of view. That's absolutely how I'd describe the designer. Her personal style is reflective of her inherent taste, as well as the colorful and sometimes complicated layering of cultures she's been introduced to over the course of her life. So is her character, strong sense of self-worth and steady view of the world. Want to know more? So did Jay Buim, host of Oh Boy.Headphones in, and enjoy.In partnership with SquarespaceWant more Aurora? @aurorajamesWant more Jay? @beardwizardEdited by Jay BuimProduced by Kate Barnett

51mins

13 Sep 2016