designed in new york city and vietnam. handmade in ho chi minh city, vietnam.
ABOUT THE BRAND:
kathy minh bach and chuong pham are the duo behind kaarem's architectural aesthetic. both originally from vietnam, the designers pull heavy inspiration from the landscape of their home country. chuong still lives in ho chi minh city, and he oversees their in-house production team.
kaarem's designs are renowned for being structured and geometric. there is an aspect of approachable elegance in every piece they produce. unbothered by trends, kathy and chuong design with versatility and longevity in mind. many items are constructed to be multi-purpose; for example, a dress with a secret panel for nursing or a top that can be worn three different ways. they source their silks directly with vietnamese silk mills. other materials are sourced locally within vietnam, and they use deadstock fabrics whenever possible. each piece is handmade and finished with a blind stitch.
they have grown their small production from the ground up - training staff and maintaining traditional garment-making techniques that aren't typically used in factories. for kaarem, it's about preserving the craft and art of garment making. aach piece is handmade from start to finish. fabric is patterned (without computers!) and cut by hand in-house, allowing for zero waste in their designs and materials. , sewing, and then hand-finished with a blind hem stitch.
all natural fabrics (silk, linen, cotton) are all hand dyed by their team with special vietnamese natural dye products like mollis blackberries, mangosteens and bark.
chuong works from their ho chi minh city production studio with their team, and kathy works from their design studio in dumbo, brooklyn.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
cheesy though the old adage may be, kaarem's talent speaks for itself. they were one of the first brands we reached out to when we started this whole gig, and i waited on pins and needles until they responded. these are pieces that will literally serve our closets forever.
the thoughtful attention to detail and the playful hidden secrets within the garments lend themselves to the refined but approachable. it's interesting to us. kaarem is the one brand we carry that seems to appeal to EVERYONE. we rarely have shoppers look through our rack and not pull out a piece by kathy and chuong. that universal appeal is exceptionally valuable to business owners trying to serve their customers well.
when we go to new york in the spring and the fall for buying, kaarem is always one of my very favorite stops. their pride in vietnam and their desire to educate their retailers about their home is moving. we eat delicious vietnamese cuisine while kathy teaches us about where their inspiration comes from. it has been an honor to learn about vietnamese culture and hand-crafted garments from people who love and know both so well.