09 January 2016 // Anona van der Linde //Antwerp
//P.S. MORE SHOES
Picking up from my first post about my never-ending love for shoes - here’s another two brands that I definitely want to mention as well.
Let’s start with Dorateymur, a London based shoe-brand by Turkish-born designer Dora Teymur, founded in 2012 after he graduated from the prestigious Cordwainers College.
Dorateymur’s shoes have a very retro-70’s glam-rock 'n roll look; using catchy silver, bright red and patent leathers. It’s clear that his designs are inspired by the past. His shoes are described as femininity with a dash of masculinity - think square toes and chunky low heels. One of his collections was inspired by the interiors of classic cars; a crocodile-skin boot in brown, white and burgundy just like the leather seats of a Rolls Royce. Another collection was inspired by Carolyn Kennedy (married to J.F.K. jr.) - she was known for her minimal, put-together looks during an era of very extravagant fashion. The way her wardrobe pieces all matched perfectly together and were in harmony with herself, was a big source of inspiration for Dora Teymur - he imagined what other shoes she could wear over and over again if she were alive in the 2000’s.
Classic car interior shoes
Muse Carolyn Kennedy
For Dorateymur the easyness of matching clothes and accessories is very important. He loves simple pieces, everything in his wardrobe must get along with one another. He believes that he, subconsciously, designs his shoes with that instinct. This is also the part that I love about his shoes - they are easygoing designs, with a hint of eccentricity. But color and shape are really well balanced in the designs, so that the shoes retain a certain modesty and don’t get to excessive. They are still easy to pair with everything. The shoes are designed to be worn and walked in, not just looked at! ‘Lifestyle’ comes first for Dora Teymur, and he would know because he tries them all on.
Another rising star at the moment is Aurora James; praised for her great sense of style but also for her sustainable brand Brother Vellies (founded in 2013). Aurora was born in Toronto, now living in Brooklyn New York, and started her brand because she wanted to share her favorite traditional African footwear with the rest of the world. With her brand she is also creating jobs for women in Kenya, Namibia and South Africa - where her designs are hand-made by local artisans with locally sourced materials. She travels to Africa once in every 2 to 3 months to guide the people she works with. Using her own talent to make a difference for other people, is what makes Aurora stand out in the fashion business.
Aurora James in front of her shop
Her NY Fashion Week presentation
She presented her collection for the first time at New York fashion week last year and was named one of the three winners of the CDFA/Vogue fashion fund later that year. This means she received a 300.000 dollar fund and a yearlong mentorship to help develop her brand. The message behind her brand is about education and empowerment. Another project she is doing within the brand: The Brother Vellies T-Shirt Project. During her trips in Africa, Aurora came to discover that Africa had a lot of extra clothing (mostly stuff that was donated by Western countries in the 80’s and 90’s). All these clothes that were sent to Africa to help were in fact closing down local manufacturing industries and killed the desire of a lot of people to wear their traditional, local apparel. The brand is now shipping a lot of these old t-shirts back to sell them on the website - the money will be going towards skills development for the local people.
Brother Vellies started with the introduction of their first model, the African velskoen, a.k.a ‘vellies’, which is actually the ancestor of the modern day desert boot. From here on out she got great response and now Aurora has a whole range of different models - variations on the ‘vellies,' a lot of different sandals and Moroccan babouche slippers. The shoes are natural and easy to wear and I love the fact that they’re not your typical girly-girl type of shoes - she isn’t afraid to introduce traditional ethnic pieces into the fashion world. Yet she styles her pieces in a way that it becomes very modern and cool. My personal favorite: the denim and python babouche slippers!
The denim babouche slippers