Yu Mei

Yu Mei is a new-generation leather goods label with a focus on utilitarian design.

Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Yu Mei is made for modern people who favour understated markers of luxury. Since our founding in 2015, we’ve come to be defined by our unwavering commitment to premium materials—particularly the use of South Island deer nappa.

From hard-fought local beginnings, Yu Mei stocks at all major department stores across Australasia and is retailed on Farfetch and at Bergdorf Goodman internationally.

Materiality and regeneration come first for Yu Mei. Our bags are predominantly made from premium, New Zealand-farmed deer nappa. Prized for its suppleness and strength, this leather is a by-product of the venison industry and would otherwise go to landfill. We’re proud to be using this regenerative material that has both a low ecological footprint and unparalleled softness.

Yu Mei began in 2015 when founder Jessie Wong couldn’t find a bag that fit everything she needed for a day. The label encompasses Jessie’s desire to help people streamline their lives. Jessie took up sewing from a very young age, excelling at tailoring and draping while at fashion school. Initially a garment designer, Jessie’s switch to leathercraft was aided by the guidance of artisan Bill Drake. Initially reluctant, Drake eventually allowed Jessie to sit in at his workshop after she had finished class.

Outside of Yu Mei, Jessie is an avid supporter of New Zealand art. Since the opening of Yu Mei Lounges in both Wellington and Auckland, Jessie has taken the opportunity to showcase established and emerging artists alongside her hardworking handbags.