The freedom in lifestyle and passion for adventures give Ms.Kieu Linh a natural beauty. She decided to quit a job to pursue her number goal in life, Kieu Linh shared that every place she has been to have been memorable in its own way, because travel is not only to see but also to feel.
# LeinnéWoman # LeinnéMoment #Wanderlust
It was a pleasure to know you. Can you tell us how did you discover Leinné?
My philosophy in fashion is everything I wear should mean something. For example, my current favorite pieces are Yem (my own brand) clothing, Rothy’s shoes responsibly made from recycled water bottles, and jewelries made by my friends. Knowing this, a friend of mine, owner of Lo Boutique in Saigon, told me to check out Leinne as it was created by someone with a similar mindset. I was instantly hooked. Leinne immediately became one of my favorite Vietnamese brands.
Can you tell us more about your journey from the US to Vietnam?
I’ve lived in the US for over 16 years and even though in some ways I am more American than I am Vietnamese, Vietnam is in my blood and I always knew I had to be back. After quitting my last corporate job in 2016, I decided that my new venture as an entrepreneur had to be something that can help people, especially my people, the underprivileged Vietnamese. So I came back to Vietnam, stayed for 9 months and eventually started Yem, a sustainable fashion line that aims to showcase Vietnamese traditional crafts to the world.
Do you have a place in the world that you call home? How does it make you feel?
Home is a very loose term to me. I guess it is because I have been moving around (from house to house and from city to city) all my life. For me, home is the place where you feel safe, comfortable and free to be yourself. Currently, I have four homes: Los Angeles (where I officially live with my boyfriend and puppy), Hanoi (where I grew up and where my mom still lives), New York (where I lived for many years and where I still have many close friends) and Saigon (where I initially found the urge to stay in Vietnam and where most of my Vietnamese friends live).
It looks like you share our passion for travel. Tell us about the most memorable places that you have come by and your experience?
One of the reasons both my boyfriend and I decided to quit our jobs was because we wanted to pursue our number goal in life: freedom. We want to be able to be free to be anywhere in the world anytime we want to. Every place I have been to has been memorable in its own way, because to me traveling is not to see a place but to feel it. I don’t travel to “check the box.” I travel to learn about the world, about cultures, about people and about myself. I am currently learning Spanish because next year I want to take on South America, together with the boyfriend and the pup (he is also one heck of a world traveler for a dog). I find that more than the historical sites and the scenery, what make traveling truly worthwhile are the people, which is why being able to communicate in their language can make a world’s difference.
The best feelings in the world for you?
Tough question :).
I love the feeling of peace whenever I look at water, whether it’s the ocean, a river or a waterfall.
I also love cooking and entertaining, so watching my loved ones eat and enjoy my food is very rewarding.
Recently, with the creation of my new brand Yem, I feel amazing every time I wear one of my pieces, especially when I receive compliments for them.
What are your next travel destinations?
I travel domestically in the US a lot for occasions like weddings and other get-togethers. The next couple ones will be New Orleans and maybe Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Portland. Internationally, my boyfriend and I plan to visit Oaxaca, Mexico, to taste Mezcal (our favorite booze) then Peru (to climb Machu Picchu) and Chile (to taste wine) after we come back to Vietnam for Lunar New Year 2018. For work, I plan to go to Kashmir, India, soon to spend time with my cashmere artisans.
How do you dress for everyday and on vacation?
I like to combine style and comfort. Recently, I have been wearing a lot of my own pieces because I design them to be versatile and my silk can be worn in different climates. Because I no longer work in the office, my everyday style is pretty the same as my vacation style. In general, I like to wear a simple dress, my Rothy’s flats and one of my Leinne hats if it’s sunny. I also always keep my Yem cashmere scarf in my bag so I can keep warm in places like the grocery store, the movie theatre and the restaurant.
What kind of clothing and accessories you feel comfortable in?
Simple, sophisticated with a hint of sexy. I like clothes that are loose/covered-up enough to be comfortable and form-fitting/revealing enough to make me feel like a woman.
I don’t wear a lot of accessories. Recently, my boyfriend got me a jade bracelet for good luck and I got myself 2 bangles with Hanoi and New York’s coordinates to remind myself of where I came from, so I have been wearing them 24/7. I occasionally wear my favorite necklaces made by a friend.
It looks like you are occupied with a lot of new ideas and projects. What do you think about the role of working women?
I grew up around working women so as a kid I never knew there was another way. I always had ambitious dreams about who I wanted to become when I grew up, most of them involved owing my own business. Now at 35, I am surrounded by all kinds of female friends from around the world, some work and some don’t, who share one thing in common: they are all amazing. I think a lot of factors affect the woman’s decision to work or not, and whatever they choose, as long as they are happy and are respected by their family and society, it’s the right decision.
What are you most passionate about your work?
The fact that I am doing something meaningful, beyond just “making money.” Yem is a luxury fashion brand with a focus on social good. Yem takes sustainability and responsibility to the next level. It is my way of providing the best of the best to my customers while helping as many people as I can along the way. Yem is the reflection of who I strive to be as a person and as an entrepreneur: follow your passion, give rather than take, act with good intentions from the heart, work hard and work smart, and you will succeed, in life and in business. For more info on my work, check out yemcollective.com.