Fashion is an unspoken language. It leaves a strong impression before you open your mouth. Just like any other language, it is a skill that can take you to places if you yield it right. Frequent columnist of ELLE Blog, Vogue HK and Sing Tao Newspaper to name a few, Veronica Li is fluent in the language of fashion and writes about styling and all things fashion-related. With her strong background in Fine Arts, Multimedia Design and Fashion Image Styling, Veronica is also the founder and CEO of her eponymous styling and image consultancy agency, VeronicaLi.co. HULA is delighted to introduce Veronica as our latest person of interest for our Style Insider series, and as our in-house Stylist whose previous clients include Calvin Klein, Lane Crawford, Dior, Chanel Beauty, Cartier and many more…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am the founder of veronicali.co, my newly launched styling and image consultancy agency site that I am very proud of! I also share my daily inspirations @vnikali. I was raised in Vancouver and studied in Tokyo for a year before I moved back to Hong Kong to pursue my career in the fashion industry. My background in Fine Arts, Multimedia Design and Fashion Image Styling is the perfect combo for Styling and Image Consultancy. From being in front to behind the cameras, I have worked with brands as their creative director, stylist and ambassador. Brands that I have worked with include Calvin Klein, Lane Crawford, Dior, La Mer, Chanel Beauty, TUMI, Omega, Bulgari, Cartier and many more … You will also see my editorial work on ELLE HK, Tatler, SCMP, #legend. To expand my professional advice to a wider audience, you can see my columns on Vogue HK, ELLE BLOG and Sing Tao Newspaper. I believe that STYLE STARTS FROM WITHIN.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO FASHION?
My mother told me since young, I have always liked to pick my own wardrobe. While my sister would wear whatever she picked for her on special occasions, I was the one who would reject her selections and create something of my own. She knew this daughter had some sort of art/fashion sense. My love for fine arts allowed me to see composition, colours, texture and shape from a different perspective. Moving back to Hong Kong to continue my multimedia studies at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, I decided to add on a diploma in Fashion Styling too. I first interned with Denise Ho, one of the top stylist in Hong Kong, while still studying and landed a full-time job with her for 2 years. We even travelled to one of the coldest places Harbin for Shangri La projects! After that, I started to do a bit of styling on my own and at times worked with Jolene Lin, also another top stylist in Hong Kong and now in New York. During that time I was able to gain experience from International Campaigns, Editorial and A-List Celebrity styling. Afterwards, I started my blog vnikali.com sharing my styling and inspiration. The blog picked up much attention from different media, publication and brands. It opened many opportunities for me not only to work with brands behind the camera but also in front of the cameras as an influencer. I truly feel blessed for the experience I gained with brands across the world.
WHY IS FASHION OR STYLE SO IMPORTANT?
Style is important to me because it’s an understanding of who I am and to be original. The key thing for style is knowing what you don’t like or don’t suit you. I always love to look back a few years back to see what my mind was thinking compare to the present. It’s always a way to understanding myself more on what fits, inspires and embrace my characteristic. As time and age changes, I find myself getting to know more about how to incorporate style not only into what I wear but also my lifestyle and daily habits. When I was young I only thought fashion was just all about the runway looks, but actually fashion is an aesthetic expression around us through art, culture, politics, travel, food and beauty.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN 3 WORDS
Refined, Timeless and a pop of Le Plaisir (fun)!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER BRANDS AND WHY?
This is a tricky question because every brand has a different creative director from time to time. I noticed that when a certain creative director takeover the House the designs becomes slightly different. In general, Christian Dior, Chanel and Hermes are my all-time favourite designer brands. As for individual designers, I love Raf Simon (he was the one who made me fall in love with Dior while he was the Creative Director), Dries Van Noten exquisite rich and luxurious designs is like walking into an art museum and Isabel Marant’s Parisian girl effortless vibe is every day’s uniform.
WHAT ARE YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES OF BEING INSPIRED BY SOMEONE’S STYLE?
Breakfast at Tiffany’s look when I was only 5, while my aunt was watching it on TV. I asked her who was this beautiful lady, I love her dress and hat. Then I gradually saw most of Audrey’s movies by 10. The 50’s elegance has been in my mind since then. I was taught to be a lady with grace and empathy.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO GET INTO FASHION STYLING?
Be ready to observe everything around you instead of just wanting
to surround by pretty things. You should at least know the 20s to Y2K fashion history. I am shocked when others know nothing about fashion history in the industry. I always motivate my interns and assistant to think more like an art director then just a stylist. It’s important to see beyond the clothes!
WHICH CELEBRITY PERSONALITY’S WARDROBE WOULD YOU LOVE TO RAID?
I would love Olivia Palermo’s or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wardrobe.
WHAT IS YOUR TOP STYLE ADVICE?
Double-check footwear before you head out. I have seen so many people screw up on their footwear and pedicures. This is a big turn off if you have the most put-together look from head to ankle, but not to the toes. Also, spend some time to really look at yourself into the mirror and know your body shape before buying. Then you will know what cuts, fits and silhouettes will enhance your confident instead of showing all your flaws.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE TRENDS OF ALL TIME?
I’m not a huge fan of trends but power dressing is always on my list.
WHAT ARE THE 3 ITEMS EVERY GIRL SHOULD MAKE SURE TO HAVE IN THEIR WARDROBE?
A tailored long coat, an expensive belt and a black jumpsuit.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF FASHION, LUXURY OR RETAIL?
After COVID, we all need to rethink and pause a bit on how fast pace the fashion industry was running. Basically every 2 months there was a new collection, collaboration, launch, pop up or a “buzz”. I remember reading an article when Mr Giorgio Armani letters to WWD, he mentioned, “ Luxury and Quality takes time.” Where I 100% agree, it’s time to slow down to S/S and F/W season and items can be on the rack to be appreciated or else it’s not fair to the tremendous work behind the collection. Sustainability fashion is not just for ones who support it but also brands are taking a huge step in educating younger and older generations. I would be looking forward to seeing how designers make a bolder statement on the runway. Just like how feminist and women empowerment took over a few seasons back. Also, we have learned that online shopping is taking a huge step and how brands are thinking about new experiences for customer virtually.
WHAT WOULD BE THE ONE ICONIC DESIGNER PIECE YOU WOULD LOVE TO OWN?
CHANEL 2008 Little Black Jacket
VERONICA’S TOP HULA PICKS:
VERONICA LI – HULA’S NEW IN-HOUSE STYLIST
Are you looking to find the perfect work wardrobe, wanting to know how to dress for your body-type or generally need help to revamp your style?
Enquire for a 1-1 styling service with Veronica at the HULA warehouse and have her select from the thousands of items we have at the space – so you can look good and feel good!
1-1 Styling Service:
HK$1000ph (min 2 hours)
3 x 2 hour sessions = HK$5500
3 x 3 hour sessions = HK$8000
Book your first 2 hour session and recieve a HK$300 HULA voucher – for a limited period only!