“Amelie’s family used to sell shoes, and mine owned a clothing store. So they would always be talking about fashion and going to trade shows on the weekends,” explains Lauren Nouchi of one of the aspects of her upbringing she and Amelie Brick share. That’s not all the duo has in common: They are also both from the French city of Marseille, moved to Boston, and did stints at Louis Vuitton, where they were finally introduced by mutual friends in 2013.
When the pair decided it was time to launch a business together in 2016, their initial concept was an ecommerce site to bring niche French fashion brands to Americans. But they quickly decided to pivot Apparis and focus on a market they felt was totally underserved: high-quality and cruelty-free outerwear. The incredibly plush vegan coats in cool candy colors sold out super fast, and in 2017 they decided to focus on them full time. “We started with a capsule collection of faux fur coats because we wanted to do something in the fashion industry that had a purpose, and offering an alternative to real fur was the answer,” says Lauren. It’s a heart- and body-warming tale.