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Meet the affordable bag brand the A-listers are loving

Emily Blunt, Hailey Bieber and Jessica Biel have all been carrying these chic shoulder bags

BY ROBERTA SCHROEDER      PUBLISHED: 08 MARCH 2024

The affordable designer bag market has boomed in recent years, with the demand for accessible luxury continuing to rise. Racing to fill the gap between the prestigious houses and the high street, names such as Charles & Keith, Coperni and Staud are developing firm fanbases for their mid-range pieces that combine strong style DNA with contemporary touches.

Now, there’s a new name to know. The A-list are already all over Aupen, the Singaporean label quickly generating a starry fanbase for its minimalist-with-a-twist bags and contemporary jewellery. Hailey Bieber chose the sculptural, slanted Purpose bag for the much-photographed launch of her Rhode beauty brand in London, while Selena Gomez favoured the sparkle-soaked Miracle Ice style at last year’s VMAs. Emily Blunt has been spotted on more than one occasion with a Nirvana bag in her grasp, and the brand’s jewellery line has proven similarly popular, with Emma Stone and Dakota Johnson both wearing the statement metal pieces in recent weeks.

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COURTESY AUPEN

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ROBYN BECK//GETTY IMAGES

So what’s fuelling the hype? Really, the appeal here is simple: refreshingly free from outré logos or loud-luxury ostentation, these bags are created for reality, not the social-media lens. The sculptural silhouettes are striking enough to enhance a modern wardrobe, yet unobtrusive enough to be worn on any occasion, be it a busy Monday in the office or drinks at the weekend. And of course, there’s the practicality of the proportions: in a world of capacious XXL totes and irritatingly small evening bags (if you can’t fit your phone inside, it’s probably not a wise purchase), these sensible shoulder styles feel just right.

So, which to choose? The brand currently offers 12 styles in a range of hues, but the current darling is the Nirvana: a supple, slightly slouchy style with a braided handle, made from traceable leather and coloured only in tanneries approved by the Leather Working Group. For something more structured, consider the Purpose: a simple, linear design with a magnetic front flap, which opens to reveal enough space for those small essentials (think keys, phone, lipstick).

The Fearless is a curved take on the Noughties baguette (which has recently been restocked after Kylie Jenner sent demand through the roof) and the smaller, softer Joy, which feels especially appealing in the season’s key postbox-red colourway. And for those long-awaited summer parties? Consider the Purpose Ice, designed to dazzle with a cascade of crystal fringing, your party-ready partner.

It’s notable that the design team behind Aupen are consciously elusive: the four members of the design ‘collective’ are based across San Francisco, Brooklyn and Singapore, where the bags are produced. It’s this anonymity that makes the remarkable celebrity fan-base even more of an impressive feat: for many new-to-market brands, an influencer-come-designer or famous founder is the key to quick success. Perhaps there’s power in simple practicality after all.

This article was sincerely referred from Harper's Bazaar UK.
View the original article here.

I Tried AUPEN’s New Leather Bags For A Month — Worth It?

FASHION

AN EXCERPT FROM HARPERS BAZAAR MALAYSIA / FEBRUARY 26, 2024

After all this time, Nirvana is still my favorite. It has enough space for my quick errands and everyday essentials (multiple lippies, phone, powerbank, wallet), with some space leftover. It is a bag that can be slung over the shoulder of any basic outfit to add a touch of effortless sophistication. In fact, I like it even more now that it’s real leather (real leather girlie, remember?) At the same price point for high quality calfskin leather comparable to Loewe – spills, scratches and stains did no lasting damage, and the leather stayed soft and supple. Fearless Re-Edition has a similar but gentler silhouette to Nirvana – it is versatile, cute, and spacious.

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Last, but certainly not least, is Purpose. It’s a little smaller than Nirvana and Fearless Re-Edition. Due to its angular structure, there isn’t room for much except the daily essentials. But it grew on me so much as my designated night-out bag that when they recently released Purpose with Chain in Scarlet. While Purpose initially was my least preferred due to size, AUPEN now has a Purpose Deluxe. The Purpose Deluxe is much bigger than its original, and can more easily hold your daily essentials from your phone, powerbank to blush palette while still maintaining its edgy charm, all in leather. Although I still wish that their bags could fit a laptop or at least an IPad, these new styles are easy to style, simple yet sleek, and extremely price-accessible. I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the next creation by this emerging brand.

Explore how influencers are styling their AUPEN bags.

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On @alexiiak, @kawi_.s and @ariannabaq

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On @redheartinrose, @thefloralaw and @elisagilieri

This article was sincerely referred from Harper's Bazaar MY.
View the original article here.

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HERE’S TAYLOR SWIFT’S LATEST BAG ADDICTION

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Celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo love this under-$200 ‘It’ bag

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