Velskoen are Namibian desert boots sewn from two pieces of kudu hide. Usually shortened to vellies, the boots were worn for centuries by the Khoikhoi tribe of the south-western desert of Africa. British colonists looked to the tribes for their local knowledge for surviving harsh desert conditions – desert boots were one of their many appropriations. The design traveled far and wide, worn by British soldiers in WWII and reaching new heights of popularity in the 1940s and 50s as men’s causal wear.
Herbert Schier has been making hand sewn vegetable-dyed Kudu leather vellies in a small workshop on the coast of Namibia since 1938. Eight Damara men work to make the shoes every day, turning out 20 in an afternoon. Opening Ceremony and Schier Shoes have collaborated to produce a fun take on the classic style, incorporating leopard leather and springbok fur for adults and kids. Photographer Jason Eric Hardwick shot the limited edition collection modeled on the locals.