Melete is an independent women's accessory brand creating handmade bags from a studio based in Philadelphia. Melete bags are meticulously executed, using top-quality leathers from tannery in PA specialized in Vegetable tanning process. Bags are often detailed with custom bronze components cast in New Mexico. The brands core aesthetic stands by its simplicity and elegance; designed for a woman with an individual and effortless sense of style. Women who wear what they love, and feel inspired by these choices.

Melete brand honors the traces we leave behind; attempts to fashion the elemental into something refined, even luxurious. Taking mindful steps and caring for the environment by making conscience choice of materials and refining development process.

Melete handbags are studio designed and produced which enables for detailed level of quality control. Working with the creative bond between function and traditional hand-making technique; aim to re-vive personal quality and touch in every product created. Hand-making is a time consuming process, and it is a sensitive way to achieve an elevated and individuality in product line. Melete bags are beautiful, individually unique, purposefully imperfect at times.

Handbags are created in editions. The initial design formation starts with collection of mood images followed by sketching shapes and texture composition. All In-house studio method allows organic flow of development process; from the pattern making, the prototyping and to final hand finishing assembly.



Melete was founded in 2014 by designer Ji Lee. Ji was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. At age 19, she moved to New York City, where she earned her BFA and MFA in Sculpture and Installation Arts from the School of Visual Arts. Over time, Ji’s interest in Fine Arts evolved into shoe design and handbag making along with the skills she honed from working professionally as a designer and director over a decade in NYC and Philadelphia. Her move from Asia to North America at a young age, along with her exposure to film and modern art from both continents empowered her to become the designer and creator she is today. Melete studio is currently based in Philadelphia.




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