If you’ve ever worn a Smartwatch, you know that they’re great for tracking fitness goals and sending quick text responses with the tap of a finger. If you’re into fashion, you also know they’re not so great for blending in with a cute outfit. Over the years, different bands have hit the market as solutions, but Fitbit has just launched its own luxury accessories collection, tapping two Black-owned luxury brands —Brother Vellies and Victor Glemaud — to create bands for their latest devices, Sense and Versa 3.
“I’ve dedicated so much time looking for collaborations that reflect my brand’s values,” says Aurora James, founder and Creative Director of Brother Vellies. “Fitbit’s action to support Black-owned business speaks volumes with this partnership. Fitbit is a brand that not only emphasizes the importance of inclusion and community, but they also support emerging, diverse designers with accessory collaborations. I’m flattered to join this talented group.”
James designed innovative scrunchie-like bands for her collection, rooted in her love of “mixing the luxury, ethereal elements of fashion into the functional pieces of our lives that come along with technology,” she says. The bands come in two shades –black and brown — and as a longtime Fitbit wearer (seven years and counting), I can say they’re the most comfortable and functional option I’ve found. For one, sliding the band around my wrist is simpler than fastening the traditional watchband, and I don’t have the problem of closing it too tightly around my wrist, which I often do. The leather scrunchies come in sizes small and medium and retail for only $54.95 and the sleekness of the designs blends in nicely with my overall look rather than sticking out like a sore thumb in photos as the sportier bands tend to.
“These bracelets use Horween® leather, a lightweight material that’s comfortable for all-day wear, and are handcrafted with premium oils and tanned using traditional techniques, so they mold to your wrist and develop a beautiful aged patina finish over time,” James says. “And of course, I love that the Black and Oak colorways go with everything and are signature shades of the Brother Vellies brand.”
As beneficial as exposure through this partnership will likely be to Brother Vellies, what’s most important to James is the ability for her brand to pay it forward via the craftsmen they work with and an initiative she created known as the Fifteen Percent Pledge.
“What has been the most rewarding thing about Brother Vellies is that we continue to support local artisans from across the globe. We are celebrating their cultural histories, centuries-old design practices, and craftsmanship in everything we sell,” she says. “Keeping these techniques alive has been paramount for the brand and what makes a Brother Vellies product special.
“With the Fifteen Percent Pledge, the reward is seeing real and measurable change within our pledge takers, and supporting Black-owned, Black-founded businesses by giving them access to resources to help nurture and grow their brands,” she adds. “In just one year, the Pledge has been able to move over $10 billion in sales to Black-owned, Black-founded businesses and signed nearly 30 pledge takers.”
To learn more about the Fifteen Percent Pledge, click here. Check out more photos of James’ design below. To purchase your own Brother Vellies for Fitbit Sense & Versa 3 Leather Scrunchies visit Fitbit.com here.