5 July 2007
Big And Beautiful(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 03,2007)
|This stylish oversized bag from iBags Creations Int'l Ltd is suitable for formal and informal occasions|
Regardless of the outfit or the season, no woman wants to be caught without a capacious handbag that holds everything she could possibly need
Fashions may come and go, but the demand for a stylish bag that has plenty of room for daily essentials continues apace all over the world.
No one knows this better than Hong Kong manufacturers, many of whom had already ventured into stylish oversized handbags long before they become every fashionista's must-have.
"Our core strength lies in ODM and we began creating oversized handbags a year ago," explains iBags Creations Int'l Ltd marketing executive Fion Sin. "Orders kept flowing in and so far the response from Europe has been overwhelming."
Established in 1985, iBags Creations sells its ladies' fashion bags to importers and retailers worldwide. "Consumer taste evolves fast nowadays, and we are whetting appetites with at least 30 refreshing new styles each month," reveals Sin.
Among iBags' latest collection is a baguette bag available in deep blue, black, tan and burgundy that is characterised by understated details and brass trimmings and enlivened with a hook-on accessory featuring trains of dangling charms.
"Most of our bags are made from PU that comes from Taiwan, Korea and the Chinese mainland," Sin explains. "PU is a-la-mode because it resembles real leather, while patented PU, metallic finishes and sequinned details are also very popular."
iBags Creation's 9,000-square-metre, 200-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland crafts 30,000-40,000 handbags per month. "Minimum order is 600 pieces, with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation," Sin adds.
Wing Kee Handbags Co Ltd is another company which is also riding the oversized handbags' wave of popularity among women of all ages.
The company offers different lines for mature ladies and the younger set in the US, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
"We debuted with oversized models for the younger sector last year, and they have now become a real fashion statement," exclaims Wing Kee sales supervisor Eddie Chou.
Wing Kee has more than 23 years' experience in manufacturing ladies' and men's handbags, briefcases, travel bags and wallets, as well as being the licensed manufacturer and distributor of brand names Arnold Palmer, Foce, Romeo and Jeep in Hong Kong.
"Oversized bags have limitations in the choice of material as it affects the drape of the bag's silhouette and its weight, so we are using more nylon in our products even though canvas is one of the current trends," notes Chou. "Our best-selling styles come in easy-to-carry shapes, and metallic colours are most sought-after."
Wing Kee's 100,000-square-foot, 400-worker factory in Dongguan outputs 30,000-40,000 ladies' handbags a month, utilising nylon from Japan and Korea and PVC from Taiwan, Korea and China. "We require a minimum order of 300-400 pieces and deliver 40-50 days after order confirmation," Chou adds.
Japan, Taiwan and Singapore are also major markets for Miracle Support Co, which is also shipping its profusion of oversized handbags to Europe and Australia.
Positioning itself as a brand consultant since its inception in 1996, the company is providing a one-stop service, from design to manufacturing, to its many branded clients.
"It is essential to create specific elements that bring out the individuality of a brand so as to differentiate it from others," stresses director Norman Hung.
Material is one of the key areas in which Miracle Support seeks exclusivity. "For example, the embroidered polyester fabric in some of our latest tote bags is unique as the stitch patterns are designed by us and sewn on separately after the fabric is purchased," Hung explains.
Miracle Support has a 3,000-square-metre factory in Panyu, Guangdong Province, which employs 300 workers and produces 30,000 handbags per month. "Our minimum order is 50 pieces per style per colour and delivery is normally 2 months - although that is negotiable," Hung says.
UK retailers are major buyers at Creaton Enterprises Ltd, while their Spanish, US and Canadian counterparts have also snapped up its oversized handbags in the last eight months.
The 12-year-old company closely tracks the latest fashion trends and directions in Europe and introduces 60 new styles a month.
"Our big bags are made of PU, canvas, tweed and printed fabrics, but most customers prefer PU as it is lighter and more durable," notes director James Law, adding that washed PU is most popular.
However, he warns that this material must be handled with care. "Handbags are washed after production, so we must ensure all panels and trimmings still meet specifications after treatment and there's no deviation - especially in terms of colour," he elaborates.
Creaton Enterprises has its own 7,000-square-metre, 300-worker factory in Dongguan, which has a monthly capacity of 100,000 pieces.
"Our minimum order is generally 1,000 pieces, but this can be reduced to 500 pieces for oversized bags as they have a higher unit-prices that ranges from US$5-8 FOB Hong Kong," concludes Law, adding that delivery is 60 days after order confirmation.
Companies such as these are clearly well ahead of market trends, ensuring that international buyers can always find big and beautiful oversized handbags when they source in Hong Kong.
TEXT BY WINNIE HUI