Step Inside our Auckland Lounge

We proudly unveiled our permanent Auckland Lounge, located in the ground floor of the CBD’s Commercial Bay precinct. A much-anticipated retail space full of thoughtful details, it embodies Yu Mei’s reductive aesthetic of understated luxury.

The inspiration behind our second Lounge was the minimal and modernist design language expressed in Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. It’s the epitome of form following function, which speaks to the focus on utility of each Yu Mei piece. Following the considered manner in which we design leather goods, every detail of our new space was scrupulously examined and refined to its simplest form. The result can be most succinctly described as complexity resolved.

Like the Barcelona Pavilion, natural stone textures have been employed to harmonious effect in our new Lounge. Honey travertine floors give a warmth to the space without detracting from the pared back aesthetic, while the shelves and bench are hewn from solid Oamaru stone that provides a connection to the provenance of our South Island deer nappa. In this quiet and contemplative environment, a neutral palette gives focus to raw and natural elements of the store’s materiality, reflecting the tactile nature of leather and inviting interaction.

Creating a comfortable and relaxing environment was of the utmost importance, as the often time-consuming occasion of selecting a new bag is one of significance. Mothers come in to buy daughters their first ‘grown up’ handbag as a graduation gift while others treat themselves to mark the occasion of a new job or transition into motherhood. We wanted to make this ritual memorable and special with an in-store experience like no other. A glass of champagne or sparkling water and a comfortable place to sit allows guests the time to consider their purchase.

Becoming somewhat of a hallmark of Yu Mei Lounges, artist collaborations could not be overlooked for our Auckland home. We collaborated with artist Tom Mackie to craft a display cabinet for our small leather goods, juxtaposing natural brass with his signature geometric framing. Luke Jacomb created a spectacular oversized, hand-blown vase for the space. The bespoke vessel is amber coloured glass, and with its mottled finish is a continuation of the textural story told through the stone. The most meritorious credit is due to Buster Caldwell of Wonder Group, who designed the interior with impeccable attention to detail and the most exacting standards. Our most sincere thank you is extended to all the many hands that were involved in the creation of our exquisite space.

Our Lounge Curators George, Charlie, Katie and Emma are eager to make your acquaintance and will make sure your experience is unrivalled. We invite you to stay a while and lounge with us. You are always welcome.

Shop 37 Commercial Bay
7 Queen Street

Photos by Cindy Leong