Brand new: hot new shops
A round-up of Wellington's hottest new stores and galleries for you to check out.
85 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
If Wellington has an ‘it’ bag, it would most certainly be made by Yu Mei. Founded by Wellingtonian Jessie Wong, Yu Mei create leather bags and accessories that are functional with an understated luxury that are made in the heart of Wellington. Yu Mei’s flagship store on Victoria Street has a clean and minimalistic design and is a stunning place to experience Yu Mei’s often-updated collection of leather goods, which ranges from bags to wallets and accessories. Each Yu Mei design is made from 100% South Island, New Zealand farmed and tanned deer nappa which makes for an object that’s unbelievably soft and develops a lovely patina with age.
6 Lombard Street, Te Aro, Wellington
When you’re in the need of a statement piece, be it clothing, jewellery, footwear or art, pop into St. Fabiola boutique in Lombard Lane. In her edgy-meets-iconographic boutique (St. Fabiola is the patron saint of divorced people), owner Kirsten Sutherland edits a collection of New Zealand fashion labels, as well as art by leading New Zealand contemporary artist Fiona Pardington. Kirsten is also a talented artist herself creating detailed embroidered works – she also worked on the Hobbit trilogy as the main digital embroiderer.
Shop 260 Lambton Quay, Te Aro, Wellington
It’s pretty hard to resist walking through the doors of beauty and skincare store Mecca. Bright and beautifully-scented, the store has a sense of glamour and accessible luxury that is very alluring. The Lambton Quay store offers the entire Mecca brand line-up in one location, with over 100 high-end beauty brands, both familiar and new. Mecca makes for a great shopping experience, with well-informed staff who are super friendly and happy to give samples.
174 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
If you have a thing for collecting watches or if you’re looking for a new or vintage timepiece to adorn your wrist, FiveFortyFive is your place. Wellington’s only specialist pre-owned watch shop stocks an extensive range of watches ranging in age from new to antique and from Swiss to Japanese. Owner Malcolm Brow opened the store to help spread the in-decline joy of owning and wearing a beautiful watch. “In an increasingly digital world, there’s something incredibly grounding about owning and wearing a fine timepiece,” he says.
27 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
You could say that Wellington label twenty-seven names has acquired something of a cult-like following. Their clothing is classically practical and simple to wear yet has an element of whimsy with covetable prints and bold colours. Designers (and best friends) Anjali Stewart and Rachel Stewart put a strong focus on sustainability and keeping it local – their line is designed and made in Wellington using natural fabrics. Visit their beautiful store on Ghuznee Street to check out the entire seasonal range.