If you find favor with Chinese and Asian designs, you would have already heard of the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce luxury platform Vermillion, where luxury lifestyle brands of Asian descent converge. This week, we interview Vermillion’s founder, CEO and General Manager of China Krizia Li, who speaks about the brand’s values.
A Little Background
Krizia explains that Vermillion is “a culmination of the diverse puzzle pieces that coalesced in [her] life”.
Krizia was born into a true-to-tradition yet modern Hong Kong family that cultivated her appetite for traveling and a sense of social and community-oriented responsibility, as a proactive agent for economic change in her.
After her graduation in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from Oxford University and MBA from Harvard Business School in 2012, then stints in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and strategy consulting at McKinsey & Company, she joined LVMH in DFS Group’s global headquarters and Marriott International APAC Region, where she spearheaded retail and hospitality marketing projects across the globe, setting up cross-border e-commerce, social media and mobile platforms.
Colorful and variegated as they were, none offered her more pleasure than the realms of cultural heritage, art, and consumer psychology. The watershed moment in Krizia’s career that led to the journey in Asian design and retail was when she realised Hong Kong was losing its edge as Asia’s consumer market gateway. That’s when her vision of leading a movement to regain Hong Kong’s foothold in the global landscape of luxury retail began to germinate. Subsequently, she decided to study Cultural Heritage Management in the Department of Architecture at HKU Space in 2016, where she started nurturing the idea of bringing the triumvirate of Creativity, Culture and Commerce together.
The alchemy between this constellation of events precipitated Vermillion: Asia’s first mission-driven e-commerce platform that curates unique, luxury products from Asian designers across APAC for the most discerning international clientele.
5 Core Values of Vermillion
1. Commitment to Authenticity
We strive to reflect human history, creativity and cultural heritage that is real, and not contrived. We observe a plethora of faux ‘Asian’ aesthetic brands and products overseas, that are not in fact designed nor made in Asia, paying due respect to our cultural roots and inspirations. We – representing our well-informed, sophisticated and discerning customers — always seek minimal compromise.
We prioritize brands with heritage that are ESG-focused [Environmental-, Social-, and Governance-focused] and leverage upon historical strengths of, or build new capacity for, their local community, traditions and techniques to source, design and craft their products.
What does this original creator or maker bring to the scene that is new, fresh, innovative, and would make us think differently about something we thought that we already know so well?
4. Community Builders
Be a core change agent proactively pulling together diverse stakeholders that can strengthen and reinforce the ecosystem required for small- and medium-sized actors to survive, e.g. clients, creators, manufacturers, professional translators, shipping, customs, legal and financing resources.
5. Legacy Amplifiers
The question we always ask is “Who offers the potential to become the future heritage brand of Asia?” We are looking for compelling storytellers that we ourselves can grow alongside, in order for Vermillion to act as an incubator for Asia’s stable of “Best Of” brands [by way of becoming an LVMH or Farfetch of Asia].
Looking Towards The Future
Vermillion represents more than 200 contemporary Asian design-driven home décor, art, and luxury lifestyle brands from eleven geographies: Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Australia. We hope to continue to enlarge our repertoire and acquire exquisite handiwork from more Asian countries such as Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia. Of course, we welcome designers from overseas who have a similar appreciation for Asian aesthetics and whose works reflect Asian influences.
As a technology-driven platform, it is our commitment to continue to steer Asia’s design retail industry into the new digital era on a global scale. Our ultimate goal is to provide an ever-evolving marketplace that faithfully showcases the full breadth as well as the depth of Asian design and heritage.
With that said, because we understand the indispensable role tactility plays in consumers’ decision-making process, we do plan on scheduling regular traveling pop-ups. There is a forthcoming one in July in collaboration with Tai Ping Carpets, featuring four leading female interior designers from Hong Kong who will be curating a bespoke selection of Vermillion’s lifestyle, art and design pieces (23 July to 3 August 2022, free entry).
Vermillion’s vision is to build a one-stop retail destination, either for aesthetes seeking to embroider their abodes with supreme Asian designs or for Asian luxury lifestyle and design brands on the quest for a default online boutique when sourcing Asia-influenced creations.