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Is celebrity-loved handbag brand Aupen really shutting down? Not quite

BY DANNY PARISI  •  MAY 14, 2024

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On May 10, fans of the breakout celebrity-loved bag brand Aupen had a shock when the brand abruptly deleted all but three of its Instagram posts. The latest two posts declare “Aupen Design Collective bids goodbye.”

“For us, the time has come,” the post reads. “Thank you for believing in us, It’s a new world. The doors are wide open for you and your dreams. All you have to do is start.”

The post ends with the signoff “Farewell, Aupen.”

Comments from the brand’s 50,000 followers were a mix of both confusion and lamentation.

“Wait what?! Your bags were worn by literally Hayley [sic] Bieber, if that doesn’t help, I don’t know what will,” one commenter said.

The news was particularly shocking given the rapid success the brand has seen since it launched DTC in late 2022. Within its first year, it had been worn by a number of A-list celebrities, including Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Dakota Johnson, Gabrielle Union and even Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. As recently as the end of 2023, the brand was expanding into new categories like jewelry and calfskin leather bags, a departure from its vegan “eco-luxury” products that it launched with. Most of its marketing had come from celebrity endorsements, which it racked up in abundance over the course of 2023. Its bags are relatively affordable, ranging from $180-$420. At the time of the publication of this story, all of the brand’s jewelry and all but one bag model is sold out.

So why would a successful brand beloved by celebrities close up shop? Technically, it hasn’t.

Glossy spoke with representative for the brand who asked to remain anonymous. The brand’s leadership, founded by four designers based in the U.S. and Singapore, has remained anonymous throughout its existence. The representative told Glossy that “the company is not shutting down.” Instead, it seems that new product will be on hold while Aupen sells through its existing inventory, with the potential for new product held off until an undisclosed time.

“The Aupen Design Collective is taking a break and will not be releasing any new styles because they believe in timeless designs and would like to encourage everyone to purchase consciously,” the representative said.

Existing inventory is still for sale and Aupen’s online store and customer service remain operational.

There are no other internal changes currently happening at Aupen, including leadership changes or departures, according to the spokesperson. There is the potential for outside investment, though. The company has been approached by H&M and possibly Prada about potentially investing in the company. But no funding has been confirmed and the brand’s representative declined to answer further questions about the future of Aupen. It is currently entirely funded independently.

This article was sincerely referred from Glossy
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