Elevate the essentials
Elevate the essentials
Gentle and direct, Femmue’s business director in Vietnam, Cecilia Woo Choi shares with Leinné the love for minimalism, deciding what’s important and elevating the essentials. Cecilia has the elegance of determination and drive, a sort of energy that transcends her beauty.
What attracts you to Vietnam?
There is a dynamic vibe of the city and the growing market. I moved to Ho Chi Minh because of my husband’s business about 3.5 years ago. It’s a fast city and I’ve seen many changes that have been going around Vietnam. I also feel the cultural similarity between Korea and Vietnam, the open culture that makes me feel at home.
As taking part in a beauty brand like FEMMUE, can you describe your style?
I always think paying attention to the basics is the most important of all. For beauty, skincare is the most important because if you don’t have good skin, no matter how much you put makeup on, you cannot look good. The same for fashion. I care more about the fabric and the longevity of items. I don’t like buying or using items for a short period of time, which is why I go for the classic style. If you are looking for an item that you only use for a short time, it may not last long or the design may not be so easy to coordinate with your daily life outfit. I like high-quality, thoughtful designs that I can use for long term.
Do you think that your style reflects your characteristics?
I prefer comfort over trend. Of course, in fashion, if you become too comfortable, the style may not be so fascinating but I am a person who cannot wear tight dresses and eat dinner. I need to be able to be in the moment and to do this, I need to be myself and be comfortable about myself. Sometimes when I run errands I can look a bit too simple but I like simple moments too.
From your posts on Instagram, I can see that you are really fond of travel, so which items would you like to bring along on your vacation?
Number one is my FEMMUE skincare products of course, because I have a very sensitive skin, reacts to water, strong UV light, air pollution, or temperature a lot. And because of my sensitive skin, I also bring sunglasses and hats. Because they block strong UV rays or when it’s cold, wearing a hat helps to control my body temperature. Then some light bags, supplements and emergency medications.
What are your most memorable places that you have been to?
Tanzania Safari in Africa and Palau. When I was younger in my 20s, I preferred the big cities like New York or Paris. But after my visits to Safari and Palau, my point of view had completely changed. I went under water to get my open water diver certification in Palau and went game drives in Safari to see the wildlife. Seeing, feeling, and listening to nature made me speechless: I was only the smallest part in front of Mother Nature.
What kind of clothing and accessories do you feel indispensable whenever you go outside?
In Vietnam, 8/10 times I bring hats. As someone who also wears sunglasses regularly, I don’t bring sunglasses as much as I bring hats. The UV rays in Saigon are quite strong, which irritates my scalp and face often. Wearing a hat can solve the problem for both issues.
How do you feel about the connection between you and Leinné?
I prefer items that I can use for long-term. I find Leinné style elegant and the designs are made in a thoughtful way so that you can feel comfortable in, not to mention the sustainability approach of the brand. Our brand FEMMUE is a clean beauty brand and we are exercising sustainable business. Most of our product packaging is made from glass and we don’t do over-packaging. This also applies to my personal life. I’m a minimalist. So in this sense, I feel similarity and connection with Leinné.
Describe your daily hat and bag
Many times, I bring an eco bag or woven bag especially since the weather is getting hot these days. For the hat, I wear many straw hats or baseball caps but the material and the shape is important.
Where do your inspirational sources come from? Is there anyone as your role model?
My inspiration comes from art, any kind of art. I wanted to become a painter and designer until high-school and I painted until before I went to college. I ended up studying business in college but art is still the greatest source of my inspiration. It can be industrial, fashion, fine art, flower art, anything.
For me, everyone and anyone is my role model. Because, there is always something that I can learn from anybody that I don’t have or I have not experienced.
Have you got any big plans for this year?
Yes, definitely. FEMMUE had just launched little less than 1 year. We plan to spread around our ‘Flower Therapy’ in Saigon a little more. We want to be engaged with more people. I am also planning on launching a jewelry and womenswear line this year. I’d love to build up a life-style business. So, a lot is waiting for me this year./