Friday, March 31, 2023

African Footwear Designer of Label Brother Vellies is Nominated for 2016 CFDA Award

As the internet continues to campaign for Lil’ Kim to be awarded with the 2016 CFDA ‘Fashion Icon Award’, African-made footwear label Brother Vellies has been nominated, with its designer Aurora James up for the Swarovski Award for ‘Accessory Design.’

The designer is up against fellow footwear talent Paul Andrew and milliner Gigi Burris, with news of the nomination coming after Ms James’ recent co-win of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in November last year.

Designer Aurora James

The CFDA released their full list of nominees yesterday, with top label designers like Mr Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs, and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen up for the ‘Women’s Wear Designer of the Year Award’; Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone, and Thom Browne of his eponymous label nominated for ‘Men’s Wear Designer of the Year.’


Maxwell Osborne & Dao Yi-Chow of Public School
Maxwell Osborne & Dao-Yi Chow of Public School

Chairwoman of the board of the CFDA and designer Diane von Furstenberg told NY Times of deciding the nominees;

“I have to tell you, we had a very animated board meeting. It’s amazing that I survived it.”

For us at SPICE, Ms James’ range of traditional African footwear, handmade in Kenya, South Africa and Morocco, seem a natural choice for the win, with the talent working with local artisans to create the shoes (the ancestor of the modern day ‘Desert Boot’) and loved by stars like Beyonce.

The 'Vellies' - a nickname for the boots, traditionally called "Velskoen".
The ‘Vellies’ – a nickname for the boots, traditionally called “Velskoen”.

For now the world awaits the follow-up announcement of the coveted ‘Fashion Icon Award’, which Vogue says “should” go to Kim Kardashian, as the “only contender”.

A picture posted to Aurora James' Instagram following the announcement of her nomination
A picture posted to Aurora James’ Instagram following the announcement of her nomination

But tell us what you think of the  CFDA nominations so far by tagging us online @SPICETVAFRICA, while we congratulate Aurora James of Brother Vellies for her ‘Accessory Design’ nomination.

Image source: @Aurorajames,,

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