TREND ALERT: The Proudly South African Vellie
When Vellies are featured in American Vogue and Global fashion retailer Zara releases their own version of the style… YOU KNOW the traditional South African leather shoe is HOT property!
History of the Vellie
Veldskoen or vellies, are South African walking shoes made from vegetable-tanned leather or soft rawhide uppers attached to a leather footbed and rubber sole without tacks or nails. The name, Vellies comes from Afrikaans vel (“skin”) and skoen (“shoe”).
They were first made by the Dutch East India Co. in the 17th century by the first Dutch settlers in South Africa and their unique design and craftsmanship is believed to be based on the traditional Khoisan footwear observed by these settlers.
While rustic in shape and finish, modern Vellies are elevated by inventive materials, vibrant colours and meticulous design elements. Lightweight and extremely tough, they’ve become a very comfortable and VERY fashionable statement for many.
With local Fashionistas rocking the traditional outdoor shoe style everywhere from Cape Town to the Free State Arts Festival, we knew we wanted to feature the unique trend on Hello Smart Blog as soon as we got the chance.
Collaborating with local artisan Vellie brand Sapmok, we’re featuring a VERY SPECIAL Smartgirl Street style shoot – conceptualised, styled and shot by the super talented creative team of Sapmok especially for Hello Smart Blog.
The Sapmok Story
Sapmok was founded in 2015 by South African entrepreneur Werner Winterboer, an outdoor enthusiast with a deep loving passion for nature and conservation. The Sapmok mission is to combine all forms of adventure, outdoor and nature experiences through authentic, handcrafted products.
Sapmok Vellies are locally crafted by hand in South Africa and inspired by traditional designs, patterns, textures and local aesthetics. Creating products for men and women in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, the traditional Sapmok look is hardworking, real and genuine.
Sapmok Vellies are strong, durable and made to last any experience or adventure.
How to style Vellies for the office?
Even though Vellies are usually associated with casual weekends and rugged outdoor adventures (FYI – Safari guides LOVE Vellies, it’s their preferred shoe), there is certainly a way to wear the proudly South African leather shoe in a very fashionable and professional way.
- DO add well-tailored pieces. Tailored jackets, pencil skirts and structured blouses add a touch of feminine professionalism to any outfit.
- DO pair your Vellies with the unexpected. Pair with a gorgeous floral dress or a soft flowy skirt.
- DO wear your Vellies in new and interesting colours –> We especially love the Yellow and Navy Sapmok Leonies featured in this post.
- Zetske Werner
- Grethe van Aswegen
Concept & Styling:
- Werner Winterboer for Sapmok
- Zetske dressed in floral and navy dresses by Fashion Attorneys
- Grethe dressed in yellow blouse and denim by Fran Benade designs
- Both models wearing Sapmok Leonies Vellies
Maryke Albertyn for Maryke Albertyn Photography
Pretoria, CBD Midtown Pretoria Central