Thao Vu became a pioneer in Hanoi’s slow-fashion scene when she launched Kilomet109 in 2012. She continues to oversee each production stage of her head-turning garments, from sourcing natural materials to crisply displaying the items in her tranquil lakeside shop. Standing proud in the fight against today’s throwaway fashion culture, each item at Kilomet109 is made to last and produced by local artisans. Expect deep blues, earthy reds and natural yellows across a smart-casual range.
Dive into a 100-year-old French mansion baked into Hanoi’s Old Quarter and you’ll find this shop piled high with handcrafted ceramics. Some are ornamental, such as the exquisite East Asian zodiac animals, and others practical, such as sturdy vases modelled on distillation jars. “I use traditional patterns and motifs to create new shapes and functions,” says ceramicist and founder Bui Hoai Nam Son, who learned the craft from his father.
3. Vui Studio
In Vietnamese, vui means “happy” – and it’s likely you’ll feel that way after walking into this artisanal boutique and café, which conceptualises, designs and produces its crafts in-house or with co-creators. That includes scents that reflect Hanoi’s four seasons, soaps made with local ingredients and cushion covers with patterns from Vietnam’s kaleidoscope of ethnicities. Co-founder Thai Nguyen is passionate about transforming Hanoi’s retail experience. “We want to create… Vietnamese products that don’t perpetuate an exotic Eastern expectation,” he says.
Featuring jewellery, furniture and homeware, including candle holders, coasters and incense burners, YNOT is a solid starting point for those looking to decorate their homes, or themselves. The shop looks out across the sweeping West Lake waters, and a late afternoon visit on a clear day will ensure you’re treated to a spectacular sunset to boot. Why not, indeed.environmentally-sustainable clothes and tote bags
5. Gian Don
Discover the lakeside area of Lang YenPhu, and you’ll uncover Gian Don, which translates as “simple”. This shop crafts clothes and bags that are affordably priced, ethically crafted and use natural materials. “Beautiful clothes… don’t have to cost the planet or break the bank,” founder Dieu Giap says. Items here also take into account Hanoi’s tropical location. The linen clothing, for example, is suited to its sticky summers.
SEE ALSO: 3 hidden gems in Hanoi to discover
Singapore Airlines flies to Hanoi once or twice daily. SilkAir flies to Hanoi four times weekly. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine