The innovation behind Published By’s trending rock-shaped bags

Now, momentum is building. Sales are set to double year-on-year for 2024, with revenues expected to exceed €1 million. The company is on its way to closing a €1 million funding round — their first time raising money outside of friends and family. Investors include co-founders of Berliner accessories brand Liebeskind and Copenhagen Studios, brothers Johannes and Julian Rellecke. Published By works with over 60 wholesale partners, including Selfridges and Galeries Lafayette. And pop culture is getting in on the action, too: Beyoncé has carried the pieces on at least two occasions, and they’ve graced screens on both Emily in Paris and And Just Like That.

Timing was on the founders’ side. “We’re a Covid baby brand,” Wallen says of the 2020 founding, which actually worked in their favour. Had they set up a big team, with big distribution, prior to the pandemic, they would’ve hit a survival roadblock. Published By’s lean team of three (the founders and a finance support) made it out, and it’s now a core team of six. Timed to the incoming cash injection are some key new hires: a global wholesale director (previously commercial director at Han Kjøbenhavn) and an e-commerce director who joins from Nanushka, to help grow the brand’s online store. The US is a focus, with 60 per cent of online sales belonging to US customers.

Published By closed half of its funding round in 2023, and the second half is set to close in the coming weeks. “During this time [of growth] we realised that we would need financial support to be able to reach that next stage in the business, to further grow, to explore new categories and launch in new markets,” Wallen says.

As well as refining its wholesale offering, the brand is doubling down on e-commerce. On top of the higher margins and consumer access that it enables, it’s a safety measure, Wallen says frankly. “You can’t always rely on wholesale. It can really destroy brands as well — if two of your biggest customers are going bankrupt or you’re at the hands of these big, big players, it’s quite scary. You can ruin yourself by being too wholesale dependent.”

The innovation behind Published Bys trending rockshaped bags

Photos: Courtesy of Published By

The engineering hack

Tsetinis and Wallen originally wanted to work with traditional fashion accessories producers to make the bags. This proved tricky, as they didn’t know how to work with the materials they wanted to use. The pair road tripped through Italy, armed with their prototypes, only to be met with: “We have no idea.”

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