Tucked away on the second floor of an old apartment block on Ly Tu Trong is an eclectic shopping destination in Saigon where hundreds of products vie for attention. Corner Boutique has a little of everything, from the expected fashion items like designer clothes, shoes and accessories to the unexpected objets d’art such as paintings, books and collectible ceramics. Even little knickknacks like hair clips, bars of soap and stone figurines are for sale.
It’s easy for first comers to be overwhelmed by the breadth of options the shop offers. If you find yourself among them, let owner Le Quyen show you around. “My concept for the Corner Boutique is twofold. The first one is art in everyday life. People tend to think art as something up there, detached from life, not easily accessible, but that’s not true at all. There is art in everyday objects, from things that you wear to things that you use. And the Corner Boutique is the exhibition house where I showcase my collection,” explains the 26-year-old, who uses the same instincts passed down from her art collector father. “People don’t realize how many artists and artisans there are in Vietnam. I want to change that by introducing the public to all these little known artists and artisans.”
The second layer to her concept is form and function. “I believe that an item must have both aesthetic and practical values. Vietnamese people are a practical people. There is no sense in wasting money on pretty things with few practical uses. Each of my products has to be relevant to everyday life and it must be usable by not just one but many types of people.”
1st Floor, 23 Ly Tu Trong, D1 6299 0911