Aurora James took vibrant style for a spin on the red carpet at the Fifteen Percent Pledge Gala.
The event, James’ second for the Fifteen Percent Pledge — the organization she founded in June 2020 to provide greater retail support to Black brands — was held at the New York Public Library on Saturday night. During the occasion, the Brother Vellies designer reflected on the status of rising Black entrepreneurs and designers — as well as her advice for those beginning their careers to look to the past.
“Really make sure that you are proud and confident about the business that you’re also growing. It’s not just about the creativity — otherwise, you would be working somewhere else,” James said. “It’s also about the entrepreneurship and making sure — and I talk about this in my book, all of the ways which I messed up and I learned. Use other examples that are out there to not make some of the mistakes that we already did, because you really want to see everyone win and there’s space for all of us.”
James tapped New York-based designer Christopher John Rogers for her ensemble for the occasion: a strapless black column gown with a draped cape train, covered in shimmering metallic pink, green, blue and red flowers. Her outfit was complemented by rounded diamond rings, purple and green drop earrings and pointed pumps — a glamorous ethos echoed by guests including Lori Harvey and Nicole Ari Parker.
The Fifteen Percent Pledge Gala was held at the New York Public Library to support greater diversity in retail. This year’s second-ever event featured a #BlackTieBlackDesigner theme to encourage guests to wear Black designers and brands, including Lori Harvey, Ashley Graham, Karlie Kloss and Veronica Webb. The evening included the reveal of 54 Thrones as the winner of 2023’s Achievement Award, as well as a menu curated by Sophia Roe.
On-site reporting conducted by Tara Larson.
PHOTOS: Discover the 2022 Fifteen Percent Pledge Gala in the gallery.