lifestyle • 24 Apr, 2017
First Look: Acohi
Japanese-inspired concept store
If you’re someone who judges a gift by its wrapping, then judges the givers by the accessories they flash, then Acohi should be on your to-do list this week.
One-and-a-half weeks new, Acohi is an intimate little store snuggled into a quaint Saigon apartment building on Ton That Dam. It’s home not just to bespoke-designed phone cases and tote bags, but to the ornate skill of wrapping them in a way that befits their exclusivity.
AnyArena dropped by to talk to the shop's co-founder, Ha Gia Vinh.
Hi Vinh! What’s the inspiration behind Acohi?
Most of my inspiration comes from Japanese design and culture. Acohi means enjoying coffee, especially on rainy days, so my designs revolve around coffee, rainy days and handwritten letters.
Is the brand based in Taiwan?
Yes, I founded it with my Japanese and Malaysian friends while I was studying in Taiwan. At first we sold things online and had our products displayed in several coffee shops in Taiwan, then I returned to HCMC and opened a store here. My Japanese friend is just about to open one in Japan too.
How did a marketing student like yourself end up running a bespoke accessories store?
I always had a great interest in design, and at the beginning I simply sketched my ideas. Then I teamed up with my Japanese friend who also studied design and we founded the brand.
Your gift-wrapping is special. Why did you decide to offer this service?
I couldn’t find the minimal type postcards, envelopes, or wrapping that I liked when I gave gifts to friends, even in book and gift shops here, so I decided to do it myself.
What is Acohi's philosophy?
Committed. You can see that in our wrapping. Even it's just an iPhone case, we attach a personalised name tag for our customers. We also replace products according to customers' feedback. Their happiness is our motivation.
I’m mapping out a clothing line and coffee shop under the Acohi brand.
Awesome! Good Luck.
Words by Lan Ha
Images by Dat Pham