The news hit my inbox in mid-spring: Veja, the sustainable (and luxury) French footwear brand, was launching two brand-new 100-percent cotton sneakers, called the Wata II (originally $155, now $120) and the Wata II Low (originally $145, now $135)—a more affordable riff on the brand’s sustainable leather styles and a replacement for the Nova, their original cotton and vegan sneak, which launched in 2020.
To be honest, Vejas (at least, the leather variety) have always been on my radar, but I didn’t invest until a random day back in 2018 when a little-known (I joke) celeb named Meghan Markle embarked on a royal tour Down Under and was pictured aboard a boat in Sydney, Australia wearing the iconic V-10 style.
I’d seen many celebs before Markle—Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson, to name a few—donning what is considered to be one of the first sustainable sneaker brands, but there was something about the styling of that royal boat ride that caught my eye. Perhaps it was the sleek lines of the “V” logo or the crisp and bright white next to Markle’s black leggings, turtleneck and windbreaker. Together, it made the sneaker feel both minimalist and stand-out. I splurged on my own pair of V-10s and never looked back.
In fact, I’ve worn them with everything from jeans to dresses for the past five years. Also, around the world. One of my favorite pics ever is a blurry one snapped of me on a Madrid playground with my one-year-old in which I’m wearing a floral dress and my Veja sneaks.