What are vellies? Derived from the Afrikaans word velskoen, vellies are the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. The South African workshop where Brother Vellies velskoen are made has been around since 1963, and its artisans use techniques passed down through generations to make each pair. But Brother Vellies is more than desert boots: founder Aurora James has made it her style mission to bring the label’s playful, eclectic pairs into the modern woman’s wardrobe as well—in the form of sleek boots and feminine mules. Now handmade in a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco, Brother Vellies shoes don't just look amazing—they feel that way, too.