IN A WORLD OF MASS production, finding something truly one-of-a-kind is nigh impossible. Enter Mayhem Saigon (136/1 Le Thanh Ton, D1). Opened in 2013, Mayhem is one of the city’s first and certainly best-known vintage shops, home to all kinds of clothing and accessories you can be sure no one else in Saigon will have.
Head all the way down an alleyway filled with nail ladies busy doling out mani pedis just steps from Ben Thanh Market, and you’ll find Mayhem up a set of stairs to the right. Browse through two cluttered-chic floors of hipster nirvana stocked with vintage clothing sourced mainly from fashion-conscious Japan, along with denim from the USA and some women’s winter wear from South Korea. While 80% of the stock is gently used clothing, the other 20% is new from up-and-coming local designers with a cool aesthetic.
In a recent visit, we snagged an eclectic mix including throwback Jordache overalls, a men’s shirt from Japanese designer Takeo Kikuchi, a shirt from British designer Paul Smith and a new structured linen jacket. “We try our best to verify branded items,” says the store manager when asked about the authenticity of the designer labels mixed in with lesser known yet trendy brands. “Anything in doubt is removed or destroyed.”
The appeal of a trip to Mayhem lies in the thrill of finding a hidden gem among the neatly organized racks of clothing for men and women, including unisex yukatas, jean and leather jackets, vintage dresses and more. New stock arrives every two months or so, making each visit a new adventure. Who knows? You may just walk away with a unique gift that literally no one else has, like a black leather bomber jacket with real fur collar from YSL or a Balmain velvet suit jacket, both of which have recently been spotted at Mayhem.
Parking is free with a voucher available from the cashier and remember to sign up for the excellent membership card which basically gives you 10% off all vintage items and more. For more fashion inspiration, check out @mayhem.saigon on Instagram and @MayhemSG on Facebook.