After setting up her luxury leather atelier in Wellington three years ago, Jessie Wong has expanded her brand, Yu Mei, comprising handbags and small leather goods, to now be stocked in 36 boutiques throughout New Zealand and Australia. Guided by a design ethos of simple opulence and understated style, Yu Mei embodies the precise balance of pragmatism and elegance that lends it perfectly to the needs of the modern woman. A woman who values practicality as much as she does fashion — and who refuses to compromise on either. “She’s ambitious, focused, driven, intelligent, and carries her life in her bag” Jessie explains, outlining the kinds of customers that have been flocking to Yu Mei since it’s inception.
The tremendous growth this brand has experienced in the last few years has resulted in Jessie setting up shop (albeit temporarily) in Auckland, with a beautifully realised Yu Mei retail lounge from which to sell the brand’s seventh collection — Resort ’19. The lounge itself, designed by Rukaiya Daud of Fourth Street Home is a sleek, minimalist space where touches of brass and natural stone complement the bags’ gold hardware and allow their vibrant colours to shine.
Taking inspiration for the resort collection from a recent trip to Waikiki, Jessie cited the famous, stucco facade of the Royal Hawaiian as the basis for her Hawaiian Pink colourway, which sits alongside the Palm Green (inspired by the island’s swaying palm trees). Ten Yu Mei styles have been rendered in these tropical shades, with a selection also available in a first-of-its-kind, two-colour gradient leather. Working closely with her tannery, New Zealand Light Leather (the same one that supplies the likes of Louis Vuitton, Celine, The Row and Prada) Jessie conceived a bespoke tanning technique that allowed her to combine two colours on one Nappa skin. The resulting bags boast a distinct, eye-catching finish and are available alongside the rest of the resort collection in both Yu Mei’s Ponsonby location and its pop-up lounge in Wellington airport.
Despite our delight at having Yu Mei land on our doorstep, the brand is only set to stay in its Ponsonby retail lounge until the end of January — so while there’s still a few months to get your hands on a piece of Yu Mei’s Resort ’19, come January 31st, the brand will be packing its bags (so to speak) and clearing out. And considering the demand for this collection, we recommend not leaving it too long before checking out the new space. Christmas is around the corner, after all.
In celebration of Yu Mei’s Resort ’19 collection and the opening of its Ponsonby retail lounge, we are giving two lucky Denizens the chance to win a Mischa mini bag in either Hawaiian Pink or Palm Green. Click here to enter.
This competition has now closed.
Yu Mei Ponsonby Retail Lounge
Shop 8, Lot 3,
130 Ponsonby Road