Hoi An, Vietnam
The streets of Hoi An, Vietnam are overwhelmingly chaotic. Walking outside means navigating a maze of storefronts and hawkers while weaving between oncoming motorcycles. I quickly learned that the key to crossing the street is to move slowly and predictably. The motorcycles will weave around like a school of fish.
Most of Hoi An’s storefronts advertise the same product: custom-made clothing. Close to a hundred tailors line both sides of the streets.
Each competitor offers clothes that can be designed, sewn, fitted, and shipped all in a matter of hours. While here, my sister sketched her ideal prom dress and had it made from scratch for less than $100. She drew the dress in pencil on Thursday, had a fitting Friday morning, and on Friday afternoon a woman arrived with a scale to ship the finished dress on the spot.
The tailor scene is market capitalism in its purest…