When it comes to celebrity endorsements, Meghan Markle is one of the few people who really drives sales.
So it’s no surprise that when the Duchess of Sussex stepped out in Brother Vellies’ traditional Mexican huarache sandals this week during her royal tour with Prince Harry in Cape Town, South Africa, Brother Vellies immediately sold out of the style. The shoes retail for under $200 and are crafted in Michoacán, México.
Today at Paris Fashion Week, Brother Vellies founder and creative director Aurora James said Markle’s stamp of approval is hugely significant for her brand. More than that, she said it will create vital interest in Mexican artisans and their craft. “When women support fashion that is actually made in the country where it comes from, that’s a big thing. We’re sold out, and other companies are selling huaraches, too. That will benefit the artisans in Mexico,” the designer said.
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The former actress has worn the same Brother Vellies style before. She picked the look in July for a casual outing to a polo match in Wokingham, U.K., alongside sister-in-law Kate Middleton.
Markle seems to be intent on using her fashion influence to do good. This month, she made an appearance in London on the eve of fashion week to launch her Smart Set capsule fashion collection in collaboration with the charity Smart Works and major British fashion purveyors. She has joined forces with Marks & Spencer, John Lewis department store, Jigsaw and designer Misha Nonoo, the friend who is credited with introducing Markle to Prince Harry, to create the Smart Set collection of classic women’s workwear options, including a white shirt, trousers, a blazer, a dress and a large leather handbag.
Meanwhile, James made a statement with her presentation at the Peninsula Hotel in Paris today. “I was here a lot this summer and was really inspired by the things I was doing,” she said. The designer, who has been at the forefront of ethical sourcing from the beginning, showed an oyster shell heel and a new version of her tire sandal, crafted in Kenya.