Aurora James Takes Home CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Top Prize

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Aurora James Main

Independent footwear designer Aurora James, the founder of Brother Vellies, is strutting with pride today after taking home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund top prize last night here in New York City. The fund was established to nurture tomorrow’s industry leaders by awarding them $300k and a full year of CFDA mentoring to help them successfully grow their brands.

Brother Vellies was founded by Aurora James with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her favorite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa. Handmade in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco, the brand creates boots, shoes and sandals in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.

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“I am so grateful and humbled to have been selected for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Having the support of the CFDA and Vogue is a true honor and I am so thankful and delighted for this opportunity,” James told FN. “I am excited to share a unique perspective and I look forward to showcasing the amazing work of all the artisans we collaborate with across Africa and to move forward in this already incredible experience.”

While the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is a prestigious honor, 2015 has been a groundbreaking year for James who presented her very first collection during New York Fashion Week with the support of some of the industry’s brightest stars, including Kanye West.

To learn more about Aurora James and Brother Vellies visit

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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