UNDER THE SAME SUN: Yu Mei’s Digital Runway

This Thursday 28 October, luxury leather goods label Yu Mei will be releasing a digital runway presentation of their Spring Summer 21/22 collection, UNDER THE SAME SUN, to much fanfare in a live streamed digital event.

With Aotearoa being once again plunged into alert level restrictions due to a resurgence in the Covid-19 pandemic, Yu Mei founder, Jessie Wong and her team faced major setbacks reminiscent of their AW21 campaign, ‘The Art of Packing’ where the Digital Runway format was first introduced in response to a level 3 lockdown that meant cancelling a runway show at City Gallery Wellington. Plans to physically launch the new SS21 collection into the Australian market were also cancelled, a key focus for growth as Yu Mei builds its presence outside of New Zealand.

“Earlier this year we took part in an NZTE initiative to promote trade during the trans-Tasman bubble, called ‘Discover New’, a time-bound retail concept in residence at Chadstone Mall, Melbourne showcasing a cross-section of our country’s most innovative brands," said founder Jessie Wong.

“We were thrilled to kick off conversations with some key retailers and Australian media as a foray into the market and we had planned to do a number of activations in the lead up to this coming summer. It's disappointing that the pandemic’s return means we can’t be there physically, but we still feel that closeness with Australia given our collective state of being and we still feel optimistic, summer is coming and there’s much to look forward to.”

Spring Summer 21/22 ‘UNDER THE SAME SUN’

Spring Summer 21/22 examines the present moment with optimism and ease. Existing in the liminal space between Spring and Summer, a hazy daze where time seems to stretch indefinitely, each moment simultaneously holds a precious and fleeting ephemerality. In a season of high energy, there is power in relenting to the chaos and leaning into the present. Wherever we are, there’s comfort in knowing we’re under the same sun.

Yu Mei’s Spring Summer 21/22 collection, ‘UNDER THE SAME SUN’, sees a riotous accord of sunny-day colour paired with the organic geometry of square-tiled croc, symbolising order and balance. A clash of cymbals set against the low hum of singing bowls. Blue sky and yellow sun. Chaos and order. The perfectly imperfect present. The here and now.

A Crayola-hued blue sings with a solar-powered yellow, underscoring an undeniably optimistic outlook. These bright splashes are grounded by rich cocoa tones and our signature green - this season rendered in a universally favoured khaki iteration. Ready for a carefree summer season ahead, ‘UNDER THE SAME SUN’ eschews painterly neutrals in favour of full-force pop art pigment.

‘UNDER THE SAME SUN’ will debut via a live Digital Runway Presentation at 8:00PM NZT/6:00PM AEDT on Thursday, October 28. The full collection, including limited-release colourways and textures, will be available to shop thereafter at Yu Mei Lounge, Wellington, online and at selected stockists.

Digital Runway Presentation

After a mid-August lockdown put a halt to plans of filming on the Desert Road, Yu Mei founder Jessie Wong had to rethink production and decided on the windswept Breaker Bay as a location closer to home. Filmed by production team Wrestler, 10 models were styled and directed virtually from Auckland by lauded stylist, Sebastian Hunt for the brand’s second Digital Runway Presentation.

Wrestler utilized new technology allowing Hunt to direct remotely with a direct camera feed to his laptop, giving direction over Zoom. Models were styled exclusively from secondhand finds, sourced by Hunt and Wong from local op shop SaveMart. Men’s suiting and shirting were cropped and re-constructed, with Hunt’s signature layering of tonal undergarments.

"I wanted the models to look powerful. We dressed them in these masculine shapes but edited them to offer something more playful. They’re strong but they don’t take themselves too seriously. We went for neutral brown and grey tones in the clothing so the focus would be on the bright primary colours of the bags," said Sebastian Hunt, Stylist and Director.

“With our work supporting the Wellington City Mission last year, I saw directly how shopping second hand supports the community. For us, we wanted this production and for everything, we do to have as little of an [environmental] impact as possible, in line with our mission to become a regenerative brand. Giving another lease of life to garments already available and in circulation contributes to this," said Wong.