Collective memory (noun): the memory of a group of people, passed from one generation to the next

In our understanding, collective memory is far from an intangible thing. It is touchable. Visible. Usable. Edible. Smell-able. Collectable and Memorable. The concept comes from a collective cultural mindset that values local identity over global homogenization, originality over cliche, and quality over quantity.

Founded by a Vietnamese duo of travel writer and photographer, the concept for Collective Memory emerged from a shared enthusiasm for Vietnamese culture. While constantly on the move for assignments, the creators use these opportunities to scour the country for the best products that Vietnam can offer.

The concept brings together authentic and high-quality brands under one roof. While individually each brand has its own unique story, a collective of brands forms a larger narrative about a country that is constantly evolving.

Collective Memory styles itself on the idea of an independent and locally made magazine targeted to a global audience. Just as a magazine approaches its editorial content, Collective Memory plans to regularly curate its artifacts and product lineup in order to celebrate an ever-changing pool of local talent. It’s a hybrid between a mini salon-style gallery and a museum-style concept store.

Located centrally at 12 Nha Chung (historically known as Rue de la Mission), just a stone’s throw from the imposing St Joseph’s Cathedral, Collective Memory is in the heart of Hanoi’s Parisian-style chic designer district.

Collective Memory-Gift Store in Hanoi
Illustration by Nicki in celebration of Collective Memory’s birthday Year 3.

On offer will be an assortment of kitschy paraphernalia, designer wares, limited edition art prints from established and emerging artists, as well as a range of delightful collectibles.

It’s alive with modish curios for all budgets and tastes, from the replicas of Hoi An ancient houses to wood-fired hand-painted cups reminiscent of the bygone subsidy era to cushion covers adorned with images of the Indochinese postcards, organic coffee beans grown by the fourth – and fifth – generations of a farming family from Lang Biang Mountain in the Central Highlands and Saigon Charlie’s bottled chili sauce using a 100-year-old Le family recipe from the imperial city of Hue. Adding to the mix are a carefully curated selection of books and a set of board games remodeled after the world-famous Monopoly board game in a Vietnamese colonial setting. Whether you’re after something as small as a magnet featuring hand-drawn pictures or something as large as a hand-dyed tribal jacket, Collective Memory is sure to have something special for you.

If you believe that gift shopping should expand your knowledge of destination and its culture, you can’t go far wrong with Collective Memory.

We warmly welcome you to swing by, dig in and discover.

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