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

Can Taylor, Kylie, Hailey, and Jennifer Lawrence’s favorite new bag brand pass the quality test?

As a self-admitted princess, quality is the first thing I look for in everything I buy. Clothes, bags, shoes, makeup, you name it. Naturally, I’m super selective with my Lunar New Year shopping too. With our busy schedules, I barely get to see my cousins anymore. In recent years, we’ve established a tradition of shopping together, and having a sleepover on Lunar New Year Eve, where we indulge in top-shelf champagne and sheet masks facials. We spend the night talking about everything under the sun – including what we were going to wear for the reunion dinner. Apparently, one of my younger cousins had to scramble to buy a new handbag this year. The one she ordered had arrived with its clasp broken. I’m thankful that I can’t relate, since I had AUPEN’s Purpose with Chain in Scarlet for this year’s festivities. They remind me of my beloved high- quality Japanese handbags that I’ve collected over my many trips to Tokyo.

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AUPEN first came on my radar mid-2023. Their handbags were made in Singapore, in a move that is distinctly Margiela-esque, their team has remained faceless since its inception. I reviewed their vegan PU bags last October. Since then they have released more styles, launched jewelry and been spotted on even more celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence paired the Fearless Re-Edition in Noir with a trench coat from The Row for a casual look – she has worn it at least five times on various outings. Emily Blunt dressed up the Nirvana in Ash with a Zimmermann purple jumpsuit at the Oscars nominees red carpet, and paired her Nirvana in Noir with a polka dot Dolce & Gabbana maxi dress and tennis shoes. Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy wore the Purpose in Noir for the Renaissance Movie Premiere. Selena Gomez also wore the Miracle Ice when she attended a wedding in Paris. Not since the rise of Khaite and the revival of The Row have I seen a new brand storm the fashion scene in recent years. AUPEN recently transitioned to real calf leather without increasing their prices. As a ‘real leather’ girlie, I knew I had to put their quality to the test once more.

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Here’s What I think About AUPEN Now:

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On Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez and Blue Ivy

AUPEN Wave Earrings on Dakota Johnson and AUPEN Splash Earrings on Emma Stone

On Taylor Swift

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On Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner and Emily Blunt

NIRVANA NOIR

On Gabrielle Union, Fan Bing Bing, Jessica Biel

FEARLESS RE-EDITION NOIR

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On Ashley Park, Olivia Rodrigo and Nina Dobrev

PURPOSE NOIR

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PURPOSE CHAIN SCARLET

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.

On @alexiiak, @kawi_.s and @ariannabaq

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On @redheartinrose, @thefloralaw and @elisagilieri