I left home with a humble suitcase on a solo mission.
I had been to Vietnam before, but never to the great city of Saigon. It oozes with an energy even thicker than it’s humidity. The sheer amount of "unknowns" excited me - alone in a completely new city with a lifestyle unbeknown to me.
I was braver than I had ever been. All on my own, I explored.
After a while, my exploring landed me a job, a few friends and a place to stay. Phew. The suitcase was only going to get me so far… if I was going to make it, I would need a wardrobe.
The task of building a wardrobe from near-scratch may seem daunting to some but turns out I was built for the job. I had the gift of a clean slate to redefine my style - which I never quite found back home.I lived for my off days spent navigating the dense alleyways to find the very best boutiques. I researched exactly where the cool-kids were shopping, had store attendants reveal their competitors and shamelessly stopped girls on the streets.
All while regularly getting lost, it was worth it. For the first time, I was shopping successfully every time. I was spoiled for cut, quality and fabrics: falling in love with the feel of the silks, the structure of the linens and the touch of the cottons. I quickly built a wardrobe that was minimal, versatile and better yet, local.
I was liberated. So chuffed with my success, I had the idea to share this experience back home.
I thought “If not now, then when?” and got straight to work.
The first collection is entirely Saigon-sourced. Although those that follow may be sourced from far and wide, they will always be hand-sourced so that each garment may tell a story.
‘hẻm’ is Vietnamese for 'narrow road or alley'.
‘the hems’ are the roads of Saigon I travelled to bring stories to your wardrobe.
Welcome to the story, let's build a wardrobe together!
Sarah Jane | @sezi_j
MORE: READ OUR LATEST IOL FEATURE HERE: #YouthDay: How this Girl Boss created an online clothing store (written by our very own customer, Sacha!)