It should be clarified right in the beginning of this piece that the Hermes I’m going to talk about here is not one of the 12 Olympian gods in Greek mythology, the one who is believed to have invented the lyre. The Hermes I’m discussing is the Paris-based, high-fashion luxury-goods manufacturer who earlier this year was announced by the World Luxury Association as the world’s most luxurious brand, followed by Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Versace. Four years ago, the 170-year-old brand name first arrived in Vietnam with a boutique in Hanoi, and over the past week, the second arrival was marked with a new boutique in Ho Chi Minh City. Hermes chairman Patrick Thomas also arrived in the country to attend this special event. As this is the first time a top Hermes official visited the country, his presence is seen as an appreciation that Vietnam is a potential market. At first I felt little interest in the fact that a top fashion boss had come to Vietnam, but soon startled recalling a story about Hermes bags a local top model recently told me. The model said the Hanoi Hermes boutique had imported ten sets of the latest fashion bags, each of which contained four bags with different colors. Each set fetched US$140,000, or VND2.9 billion, and customers are only allowed to buy all four of them. I was shocked at the ten-figure price in Vietnam, and told her that those bags must be only for display, as who could afford such exorbitant rates? But the model just smiled and, well, shocked me the second time in minutes. “The bags were immediately sold out. Some customers also complained that the boutique manager hadn’t reserved the products for them,” she said. The model said Hermes never manufactures at large quantities, and ten sets of bags for Vietnam was a big favor to this market.Steady growth vs. gloomy economy Ten sets of bags, worth $1.4 million, or VND29 billion, were sold out in seconds! Doesn’t it sound like a joke? But it is a reliable fact, as it was the Hermes chairman who told local media that the firm has enjoyed steady annual growth of 20 to 30 percent during its four years in Vietnam. I then asked the model who the real customers of those luxuries were, and she asserted that the bags are even beyond the reach of models. “We just went to the boutique for window-shopping. Even the business tycoons dating models don’t dare to give them Hermes bags,” she said. So who bought the bags? “The ladies, and young ladies,” she answered. Dozens of thousands of local businesses have vanished from the national economy, and a huge number of realty moguls are depressed by the frozen market. Small manufacturers are struggling to survive from the exorbitant bank loan interest rates. The Ministry of Finance has even expressed concern that the state budget will not be able to increase the basic wages of civil workers, who are already suffering soaring prices. But the Hermes boss still wore a broad smile when announcing the inauguration of the second boutique in Vietnam, which he said is among the very few worldwide boutiques that sell all 16 product divisions of the company. “It’ll be very interesting to find out who really buy the Hermes bags, belts, and watches worth seven to eight-figures in Vietnam dong amid these hard economic times,” many local reporters who attended the inauguration ceremony of Hermes in HCMC told me.
The trial of Nguyen Thi Nga, the driver of a BMW car, will begin on Monday
Four in total get jail terms
Residents in the northern Vietnamese provinces of Lai Chau and Ha Giang are trying their best to help one another rebuild their lives after floods took a heavy toll on the two localities last month.
Many sewers along the streets in Ho Chi Minh City have their entrances blocked by garbage on a regular basis, negatively impacting urban esthetics and the environment while helping cause serious flooding.
A young Vietnamese has constantly kept his pencil busy during the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup, drawing more than a dozen charismatic portraits of his favorite stars at football’s biggest competition.
Locals who pick up sau, a typical fruit of Hanoi, for sale to earn a living will not start their daily ‘harvest’ until the sun goes down.
Despite the sweltering weather in Hanoi these days, many young people still flock to lotus ponds surrounding the capital city’s iconic Ho Tay (West Lake) to pose for Instgram-ready photos with a sea of blooming flowers.
Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes
The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.
Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.
Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.
Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.
It is an active rather than passive lifestyle that helps
Four in total get jail terms
The e-Cabinet system is expected to cut time spent in meetings by the government by 30 percent in 2019
Temperatures may reach 40 degrees Celsius in central Vietnam, while rain will mainly fall in northern and southern provinces in the evening
The separate violations were spotted on a single Sunday morning
ISPH is the first new international school to open within Hanoi in the past three years
Good morning from Vietnam!
They are working to create videos in the hope of monetizing them one day
The performances took place on Saturday and Sunday at Dam Sen Cultural Park in District 11
Thanks to development in agriculture, farmers of the Muong Tac paddy enjoys financial security