“The shop is like a jewel box,” TSG Raleigh | Durham | Chapel Hill Editor Hopie Avery says when asked to describe Vermillion, an upscale boutique in Raleigh owned by Ashley Harris that just marked its ten-year anniversary. Stocked with gorgeous clothing and accessories by high-end designers, the store is a favorite among Raleigh’s fashion-forward set, yet has an undeniably approachable, fun, and friendly vibe Avery attributes to Harris. “She’s a cool, laid-back woman who doesn’t put on any airs, and she has a huge local fan club,” Avery says of the woman who turned a love of beautifully constructed clothes into a career.
Party photos by Missy McLamb
Harris’s fan club extends to the designers who create the pieces Vermillion carries; for Vermillion’s 10-year celebration, Lela Rose created a custom gown for Harris, and, along with designers like Wes Gordon, Shawn Hecox of The Woods Fine Jewelry, and Stephanie von Watzdorf of Figue, attended the anniversary soiree, which was a full-blown house party held at the historic Merrimon-Wynne House two weeks ago. In addition, to mark the anniversary, designers created stunning, exclusive commemorative pieces for Vermillion—in the store’s signature color, of course.
We caught up with Harris the day after the festive anniversary party (keep checking the Raleigh | Durham | Chapel Hill city page for party pics, which should be coming soon!) to find out what she’s loving at the moment, and what’s next.
Pieces from Vermillion’s 10 year collaboration collection (clockwise from top left): Lizzie Fortunato necklace, Megan Park Vermillion colored dress with silver embellishment, Wes Gordon silk Vermillion shades dress, Barbara Tfank Vermillion print dress, Figue bag. Photos by Petite Simone Photography
Who are your style icons, and why? Cristobal Balenciaga for his timeless innovation. Being in fashion I am inspired every day by my designers, for their color palettes and fabric choices (I am a colorist at heart). I love to see how my clients interrupt the clothing in the store by choosing how to wear them…and I love to see how team Vermillion dresses every day.
What’s your spring uniform? I am a big fan of a crop skinny pant for spring with an espadrille or wedge. Currently I am into the Chloé lace up tobacco sandal and a flowy light colored dress for spring. Chloé Spring was my favorite!
Where is your favorite place to unwind? In a hot bathtub, cuddled up in my cozy bed, or on vacation!
What’s the most treasured piece in your wardrobe? I just celebrated Vermillion’s 10-year anniversary and I wore a beautiful gown that Lela Rose custom did for me and The Woods Fine Jewelry sisters made me a gorgeous Vermillion-inspired charm bracelet with diamond stars to represent my twin girls, an abstract heart for my recent engagement, and a diamond lock for Vermillion surrounded by beautiful gold and Vermillion-colored stones. I will cherish both of these pieces forever with fond memories of a special time in my life.
What’s a hidden Raleigh gem that more people should know about? Well, it’s not so hidden, but a Sunday afternoon hiking around the North Carolina Museum of Art and then stretching out on a blanket with a picnic and loved ones is heaven.
What’s on your nightstand? The latest issues of Vogue, Town & Country, Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. I also have a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, The Happiness Project, and Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman, who went to college with me. And a Scout Guide, of course!
What’s next? Getting married this summer! Continue doing what I love while growing professionally and personally.