Why is artisanal heritage important?
All of our skills as designers and creators are routed in traditional cultural techniques. I am a big lover of nature. So the idea of working in Africa repurposing natural materials like wood and horn and leather is constantly inspiring to me. I love hearing the ancestral history of different shapes and styles. I feel in love with Japanese Kimonos and Danish Clogs at a very early age.
Describe your design philosophy.
I design for my woman. Everything has to look just as chic with a vintage t-shirt and jeans as it does at night going to a fundraiser. I believe that accessories make the outfit, especially on the day to day.
How do you define style?
Sense of self unwavered seasonally. I design shoes with the idea of building a women’s closet overall. The idea of season to season fashion isn’t as interesting to me. I love making new things and creating but I believe in bringing my women things they can wear and look great in Year after year.
An image that helped inspire the Brother Vellies Spring 2017 collection.
An image that helped inspire the Brother Vellies Spring 2017 collection. I love this floral arrangement by Studio Mondine that was at Intelligentsia in Silver Lake. Someone noted the other day that my brain is in New York but my heart is in Los Angeles. I do tend to design for this whimsical Los Angeles lifestyle. I rarely design in black and I tend to not take things too seriously. I love an emolument of playfulness and flight of fancy all things that tend to be associated with LA more than NY I guess. Perhaps I design for the girl who just wants to be themselves in any and all situations. Flowers are a constant inspiration to me.
Your all-time favorite image of Brother Vellies.
I love this photo of one of my best friends (model, Adesuwa) and my boyfriend, Browne at our fitting for my fashion week presentation. It was my second presentation and it was really a family affair. Everyone came together to help and support and that was beautiful to me. This picture was taken by my friends at Into The Gloss, in the back of our pop up store the day before the presentation.
A place the inspires you.
Ethiopia (Women with fruit and flowers): Ethiopia handles a large percent of our production. They people there are incredibly inspiring. This image was from my very first trip to that Country.
What role do shoes play in a woman’s wardrobe?
They do the heavy lifting. They’re the dot that turns an ‘I’ into an exclamation! I believe they’re the most important part, which is amazing because you can wear killer shoes everyday. The same can’t be said for a dress.
An epic dance scene.
A spring song.
Everybody Loves The Sunshine – Roy Ayers
A party song.
Go Deep – Janet Jackson
In collaboration with Double Or Nothing.