The Cambodian capital is bursting to the seams with an array of cute and quirky boutique stores selling everything from ethical fashion and accessories to traditional handicrafts and textiles. Here are 10 awesome independent stores in Phnom Penh.
Also known as Artisandesigner, A.N.D. is a stalwart on leafy Street 240, which is lined with cool stores. Specialising in locally-made fairtrade clothing and accessories, the line of products is created by underprivileged artisans, who are given high-quality training and paid fair wages. The result is a wonderful collection of patterned fabrics incorporated into clothes, hand-woven blankets, backs and household items.
Since opening in 2011, Paperdolls has been providing the capital’s cool crowd with bold fashion and bling. Stocking clothing from some of the country’s young designers as well as stock from abroad, the store is a treasure trove of fashionable finds so make sure you save some room in your suitcase to take back your purchases.
Fashionistas can trawl through the range of delicate designs created at Jasmine Boutique. Serving up sophisticated and chic clothing for women, two collections a year are created using top quality Cambodian silk that is hand-woven and dyed in a rainbow of colours and patterns. This shop is a must for those wanting to take home some stunning sustainable fashion.
Penh Lenh is the brainchild of American Rachel Dodson, who jacked in her job in New York as a modelling agent after a visit to Cambodia compelled her into action to empower the many marginalised women. She decided to start designing, making and selling a jewellery range, training and employing marginalised and at-risk women. The delicate designs take in earrings, necklaces, rings, anklets, bags and t-shirts.
If you have a bit of cash to splash and fancy being fitted by one of Cambodia’s celebrity designers, then head to Ambre. Run by Romyda Keth, the stylish store, which is set in a stunning colonial villa, is frequented by Cambodia’s rich and famous, and it’s easy to see why, with her extensive collection catering to all styles, tastes and occasions.
Espadrilles are known across the globe, with the casual style of shoes originally hailing from southwest France. And now Cambodia has its own version, with Amboh – which means fabric yard in Khmer – producing handmade espadrilles that incorporate Cambodia’s signature krama – a multi-use chequered scarf – into the designs.
This fairtrade store stocks a range of items that are all handmade by Cambodian artisans. They include jewellery, accessories, knitted toys, clothes, art and books. Cambodian Creations is a collaboration between social enterprises Cambodia Knits, Khmer Creations and Fairweave, and the aim behind the business is to provide at-risk Cambodians with a form of income and employment.
Nun Ay Bong
Formerly called Space Four Zero, Nun Ay Bong is a Pop Art gallery and music emporium. Inside, visitors will find a funky selection of handmade limited edition Sticky Fingers prints, Pop Art, vintage vinyl from Cambodia’s rock ‘n’ roll era, posters and t-shirts. A super quirky spot stocked full of great gifts to take home.
Artisans Angkor is a Siem Reap-based organisation that has spent the last few decades training the country’s artisans in producing high-quality Cambodian crafts using traditional methods. These range from ceramics, silk and wood and stone carvings, to jewellery, silver plating and lacquerware. Items can be bought from its Phnom Penh store on Street 13 or in the departure lounge of the airport.
Located near to Russian Market, Rajana is another initiative that advocates fair wages and working conditions. It employs artisans from across the country to lovingly handcraft the range of jewellery, bamboo crafts, clothing, art, metalware and candles stocked in store. Another great place to snap up souvenirs and reminders of Cambodia.