July 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET

Race in America: A Conversation with Aurora James

As protests demanding racial justice galvanized the nation, Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, devised her own initiative to address inequality. The 15 Percent Pledge is a nonprofit organization that challenges retailers to commit 15 percent of their inventory to black-owned businesses and provide mentorship for emerging brands. Major brands like Sephora and Rent the Runway have signed on. The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan will speak with James about the campaign and plans to include grants and programming as part of the pledge on Thursday, July 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Jul 9
Brother Vellies Founder Aurora James is spearheading a movement called the 15 Percent Pledge, urging retailers to devote 15 percent of their shelf spaces to products created by black-owned businesses. “I know that taking the pledge is not only the right thing to do, I believe that it’s also good business. The people want this.”
  • Jul 9
Brother Vellies Founder Aurora James talks about “Black Lives Matter” activism she has seen on Instagram by companies that lack diversity throughout their business. James says she’s calling on these companies to take stock of their shelf spaces, retail, and C-Suites and practice what they preach.
  • Jul 9
Aurora James
Founder and Creative Director, Brother Vellies
Toronto-native and New York City-transplant, Aurora James is the Creative Director and Founder of luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies. Founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs, Brother Vellies is now handmade across the globe. Prior to founding Brother Vellies, James amassed an impressive resume of industry experience. Her background in fashion, journalism, art, photography, and horticulture joins a forever-passion for artisanship, design, and humanitarianism to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that you will have in your wardrobe forever. In May 2020, James launched the 15 Percent Pledge, a non-profit urging major retailers to allocate 15% of their shelf space to Black owned brands in the fight for economic equality.
Interviewed by Robin Givhan
Fashion Critic, The Washington Post
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