When travelling, it’s very easy to miss places that could have been of particular interest to yourself. Mine as you may well know are menswear and coffee. Asia sweeps you up with temples and night markets and before you know it, your time is up in one place and you have to move on.
However, making time to do a little bit of research goes a long way. Halfway across the world and I was still finding what keeps me ticking over nicely. There’s nothing better than being able to wake up early and eat breakfast at a cool hangout with a good coffee. While in Ho Chi Minh, I found my necessary fix at L’usine. From the menu’s typeface to the marble tables, I knew this was my kind of place. What drew me into the L’usine space even more was that they have a store at the back of the café. With an eclectic mix of menswear, womenswear and homeware pieces, a small purchase was in order for Emily.
Tip: Never be afraid to ask the locals for advice, they know best.
Stepping out of L’usine I asked the guys where I should head to get more of the same experience. Sending me on my way with a scribbled down address, this was my next destination. Arriving at what looked like a block of flats and found within the inner stairwell, was a collection of independent stores. It was my first taste of shopping in Vietnam and I liked it. An integrated area of shops and living spaces was something I hadn’t experienced or seen before.
Each shop was different and although their spaces were small, it invited conversation between the brand and myself. I managed to visit some great stores: SSSTutter, All About Him and Usthebasic, to name a few. From a very brief peek inside what Vietnam offers in terms of menswear, it seems to be pushing streetwear quite strongly, a couple steps behind what’s happening here.
It was great to experience something that probably would have passed me. If I didn’t have locals helping me out, I probably wouldn’t have been able ignore the Lonely Planet guide.