Photos: Aupen, Getty Images, and Stylecaster

Next big thing? This bag brand from Singapore is getting worldwide attention from celebrities, investors

Aupen, whose fans include Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, attracts investor interest.

When we think of fashion labels, we don’t usually think of Southeast Asian brands. What comes to mind are most likely luxury European labels such as Louis Vuitton or Dior, or more affordable ones like Uniqlo from Japanese , or H&M from Sweden. 

A Singaporean company might just be added to your list of top-of-mind labels when it comes to go-to brands for your everyday bags.

Aupen, a viral bag brand founded in Singapore is “on the brink of a major milestone,” as per a report on The Straits Times. The brand has been riding on a high after having been sported by celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Olivia Rodrigo. 

The Straits Times reported that the company received investor interest from major European fashion conglomerates H&M Group and Prada Group, as well as private equity firms. A spokesperson for Aupen confirmed that H&M approached the brand, but it “cannot comment on Prada Group.”

It’s not every day that major Western fashion conglomerates notice a Singapore-founded fashion brand, so the excitement surrounding the news is warranted. 

In 2011, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) invested a 20 percent stake in Singaporean accessories brand Charles & Keith, although those shares have since been bought back. Aupen, meanwhile, is currently independently funded.

The news comes in the wake of Aupen wiping out its Instagram page to announce the departure of its current design team. The account, which currently has 47,000 followers, was wiped clean on May 10 save for three posts, which led many to think the brand is ceasing operations.

It’s not.

The design team is just taking a break and the brand and operations are business as usual, confirmed the Aupen spokesperson. Despite its burgeoning popularity, the team behind the brand remains anonymous.

Aupen garnered mainstream attention in October 2023 when Swift was photographed with footballer boyfriend, Travis Kelce, carrying the Nirvana bag in Noir (SGD466/P19,877) as her arm candy.

Aupen garnered mainstream attention in October 2023 when Taylor Swift was photographed carrying the Nirvana bag in Noir (SGD466/P19,877) as her arm candy.
Photos: Aupen, Getty Images, and Stylecaster

With an international design team based in Singapore and the US, the brand has already been popular among Singaporean fashionistas before its signature minimalist style found its way into the hands of American A-listers—from singer Selena Gomez to model and social media personality Hailey Bieber. 

The Aupen appeal does make sense, according to Elle, as it creates contemporary yet versatile pieces from traceable leather, using meat industry byproduct and scraps of reclaimed crocodile skin from tanneries that supply the world’s biggest luxury houses. Appealing to the modern minimalist dresser, there are no in-your-face logos or cheap gimmicks, and the prices are relatively affordable.

Oh, have we mentioned that the vegan bags are PETA-approved, too?

Olivia Rodrigo carrying an Aupen bag.
Photo from

The brand’s bags are available in a combination of real and faux leather and have price tags anywhere between SGD244 (P10,409) to SGD569 (P24,272).

According to Aupen, they’re currently struggling to keep in stock the following designs: the Fearless Re-Edition (merci, Kylie Jenner) the Purpose, and the Nirvana.

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.