Okay, so Thu Thuy Silk might be one of the most expensive tailors in Hoi An but if the sprawling 1000m2 Head Office in the heart of the Old Town is anything to go by, then it is also one of the most successful. Expect classy premises, informed staff, professional tailoring and fabulous fabric choice (with a little bit of up and down customer service).
As the story goes, Madam Thuy was the first tailor to break from the Cloth Market and start her own small shop catering for tourists. From here, the phenomenon that is today’s Hoi An tailoring industry sprang – and so too did Madam Thuy’s fortune. She now has 70 in-house tailors on her pay and boasts the Queen of Spain as one of of her customers.
Not bad from such humble beginnings.
My favourite shop is Head Office, 60 Le Loi Street. On arrival you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Ignore the small shabby shop frontage with depressingly sad headless mannequins in strange outfits and move straight through, you’ll be glad you did.
What greets you is pretty cool indeed. Think cobble-stoned courtyard leading to a mall of specialty shops housing wonderful ranges of fabric inside beautiful old Vietnamese buildings. There’s the silk shop, cotton shop, wool, linen and some mixed with this and that shop.
By the way, don’t bother to negotiate at Thu Thuy. They don’t. It’s thirty-eight American dollars to have a shirt made up (male or female, simple style or not) – take it or leave it.
The shock must have registered like peristaltic waves on my face because the sales girl quickly added – without a hint of irony – ‘Because our cotton is higher quality than anywhere else in Hoi An!’ (as if no other tailor in Hoi An had ever said that to me before).
My finished shirt in a divine shade of autumn green was such an exact replica of the original that no alterations were needed. Well made, with good finishing it remains one of my favorite outfits.
In short, Thu Thuy Silk is a safe bet for a good outfit. My only aside is their customer service. In both shops I’ve been served by sales staff who were verging on indifference.
But c’est la vie: I guess I caught them both on a bad day!
Price guide in US dollars: dresses $50 – 100, shirt $38,
Hours: 8am – 9.30pm 7 days
Add: 60 Le Loi Street +84 (0) 235 3861 699
23 Tran Hung Dao +84 (0) 235 3911 321
Email: [email protected]
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