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Feathered Friends(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2005)

Vol 1, 2005

Company Profiles

Feathered Friends
Practical Int'l Trading Co

Tagged In Style
Top Source Industrial Ltd

Feathered Friends

Practical Int'l Trading Co

Practical Int'l Trading Co offers these flower brooches in addition to feather and fur items such as a fox scarf (top)

Fur and feather seem to have won new hearts in the world of high fashion as big names on the catwalk give them glamorous makeovers, says Practical Int'l Trading Co sales manager Dixon Chow.

Practical is keen to keep abreast of these latest fashion trends by adding new elements to lure buyers. Fur and feather are especially very strong for winter, either in the form of trimmings or whole pieces, Chow notes, adding that the latest designs emphasise elegance and youth.

"Feather is commonly used to add a delicate touch to wedding gowns and evening dresses, but now is soaring to new heights," he observes. "Designers are opting for variations and a wide variety of fashions. Be sure to watch out for feather tops that look fabulous on jeans."

There are two main types of feathers, Chow explains. "Marabou is light and relatively cheap, and we import this material mainly from the US. Ostrich feather from South Africa is more expensive and is usually used with evening dresses or made into boa. It is a very hot item in Europe this year, and we believe it will soon catch on in Hong Kong."

In fur, he says the most popular varieties are fox, rabbit, raccoon and Mongolian lamb. "Thanks to advanced technology, fur apparel and accessories are now thin, light, warm and perfectly wearable, he adds.

"The colour palette now includes different tones of pale and dusty pink, delicious green, prune, coral and the classic black."

Chow says that raw materials come direct from farms or auction houses so Practical can offer products at competitive prices.

"More and more famous brands from the northern Chinese mainland are coming to our showroom. We have started working with them and they are particularly interested in fox and mink fashions," he says. "We also met some buyers from Shanghai - they are fond of rabbit fur, which is thin and easy to turn into a diversity of designs."

Practical Int'l owns a factory in Zhejiang Province on the mainland and has an in-house design team that is strong in fur fashion design. "We work closely with overseas brand names on new ideas and attend fashion shows to understand the latest trends. We come up with more than 100 seasonal collections each quarter, and also invest a lot of effort and money in new technology," says Chow.

Practical's dyeing techniques and skin treatments make fur skin look like leather - so that no extra lining is needed underneath the fur. The company also produces hand-knit, fur-trimmed fashions.

"In addition to our OEM and ODM businesses, we also launched our own brand name, PITC, about two years ago to meet buyers' needs. Some overseas customers may not want to use their own brands, yet may seek a brand they can sell in department stores and they can use ours," Chow explains.

Practical has now set up a new business unit to produce down jackets. "We employ state-of-the-art 3D cutting techniques, coupled with our fashion cut and trimming methods, to make stylish down jackets," says Chow.

By tapping new fashion and design concepts, Practical is riding high on the latest flirtation with fur and feather. Founded in 1990, the firm also specialises in finished fashion accessories and trimmings in fur and feather. It also offers a comprehensive range of extras such as flower brooches in rhinestone, leather and PU materials.

WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES

Practical Int'l Trading Co
Unit 1402, Fashion Ctr,
51 Wing Hong St,
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon,
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2763-0350
Fax: 852-2415-3019
Email: dixon@pitc.com.hk
Web: www.pitc.com.hk

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