The end of 2018 saw the beginning of Yu Mei's first foray into the retail market by opening two temporary Yu Mei Lounges, in the Wellington airport and Ponsonby.
We have never had a physical space, preferring to exist exclusively online and through stockists. The chance to open a temporary retail experience has given us the capacity to give customers the Yu Mei experience, as we intend it to be.
The Yu Mei Ponsonby Lounge was designed in collaboration with Rukaiya Daud from Fourth Street Home. We wanted to create a space that was simultaneously luxuriously and relaxing. Created through a soft tonal palette and contrasting textures, smooth brass, organic travertine and rough limewash plinths.
The backdrop of relaxed luxury mimics the leather goods functional opulence. From setting foot in the door, lounging on the Simon James Arcade sofa to having a drink with Brigette and Phoebe, the Yu Mei Ponsonby lounge is a temporary retail experience designed with the Yu Mei woman in mind.
The Yu Mei Wellington Airport Lounge is Ponsonby's little sister, which was located in the main terminal. For this space, we worked with Tom Forman at Tomahawk to create a slice of luxury for the busy traveller.
With natural oak wooden plinths the focus of this space, we wanted the Lounge to be a shelter for customers to learn more about Yu Mei.
Bianca, Eilish and Jacqui are the faces of Yu Mei at the Wellington airport with appearances from our production team, this gives customers the chance to feel the buttery softness of our Deer Nappa in person and understand who Yu Mei are.
Photography by Livia MacPhaedran and Nick Shackleton