The SMENA Story

Made using sustainable practices and the highest quality limited edition leathers, SMENA pieces are handmade in Melbourne, Australia. One-off designs, limited edition fashion accessories and wearable art are created alongside exclusive collections featuring small runs of bags, clutches, utility purses and earrings. 

‘SMENA, the feminine word for change in Macedonian, was brought to life in 2002 after a visit to my parent’s homeland, where I acquired a deeper understanding of my heritage. From that moment, I was inspired and motivated to work hard to create a platform that would allow me to express who I am and my passion, sharing it with the world through design. SMENA was born.

The label launched with one-off pieces created as wearable art, and continued to grow with a number of collections developed and sold through boutiques across Australia. In 2012, I took a four-year break to have my son and explore the world, until I was re-inspired to play with leather again.

I am now more inspired than ever with the rebirth of SMENA. The experience I had in 2002 and over the years that followed, have come together to define me and positively impact my design, creative and manufacturing processes.

Over the years, there have been many changes in the industry, including off-shore production exploding with many designers taking their production outside of Australia and choosing mass ‘fast fashion’ over meaning. Despite this, the development of SMENA continued and the high-end nature and Melbourne-based manufacturing processes remained unchanged. I am proud to share that SMENA products continue to be made by hand in the same space it was, and always has been, all those years ago – in a small workshop in Melbourne.

Functionality, endurance, superiority and sustainability are important elements in my work. All is considered, starting from the materials selected for each design and the processes followed, to the waste (or lack of) as a result of production – what would normally be considered as an off cut and waste, is turned into its own piece.

I am excited to continue this journey and create truly unique pieces for you. Made with experience. Made with love. Made with leather. Made in Melbourne. SMENA.

Love Jaki.
SMENA founder and designer.