Knight Associates Ltd. 16 Yu Mei Newmarket
Creative DirectorNathan Varga
Design DirectorsJessie Wong, Rufus Knight
Team MemberKeegan Davis
Located in the historic Lees Metalworks building on Kent Street, Yu Mei Newmarket further establishes the leather goods brand as a new retail destination in Auckland and flagship for the brand’s broadening bag and accessory collections and retail lounge concept.
Using simple, natural materials, and a neutral palette, the space is confident but subtle while contributing to a sense of tactile luxury speaking strongly to the Yu Mei customer.
The Newmarket flagship offers customers a sophisticated retail experience and further develops the lounge concept that has become central to Yu Mei's inclusive but high-end aesthetic. Incorporating a selection of contemporary artworks and temporary installations, from artists such as Yona Lee, Gretchen Albrecht, and Ashleigh Taupaki, the space acts both as retail touchpoint and gallery space, imbuing a strong sense of engagement with staff, customers, and Tāmaki Makaurau’s vibrant arts calendar.
The new retail space reconfigures the existing open-plan floor plan creating a large stone-topped point of sale and timber display shelves in the front half of the store. The interior palette is based around a combination of simple geometric forms punctuated by blocks of expressive materiality – polished concrete, stained Oak, Onyx marble, Ōamaru stone, and aged brass finishes combine to create an earthy but refined atmosphere. The rear of the store offers a counterpoint and different character, embracing existing heritage brick and exposed steel structure, to create a more intimate and loft-like experience that enables Yu Mei to host private shopping events, product launches, and hosted dinners for small groups.