11 Aug 2004
Boots(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2004)
Vol 2, 2004
Ladies' Fashion Shoes
Made For Walking
This long black boot with buckle and buttons and the short burgundy style with buckle and quilting are typical of the range from Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd
Boots may have been initially designed to offer warmth and protection, but over the years they have evolved to offer an ideal fusion of practical value and high fashion.
The constantly rising appeal of this line of elegant footwear among male and female wearers of all ages has seen consumers worldwide don the stylish, high quality creations of experienced Hong Kong boot makers.
One veteran boot manufacturer is Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd, which has its foot in the door of several key Western markets. "Our success has been solely due to our large number of attractive designs, which have set fashion trends in this sector in our major markets in the US and Europe," claims merchandiser Bobby Chan.
Conasia, with in-house design teams at the head office in Hong Kong as well as its factory on the Chinese mainland, launches some 50-100 new designs every month by identifying consumer tastes and appealing new materials and applying these to its creations.
Some of Conasia's popular materials include PU, which the company uses to make its weatherproof boots. "We have also been using microfibre to make boots with a suede-like finish," Chan adds. "Yet another material is patent PU, which we expect will continue to appeal to our consumers this year and next."
Conasia's 500-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland sources PU, patent PU and microfibre from the mainland and produces about 10,000 pairs of footwear a month.
The OEM maker recently launched three new lines of ladies' boots with an FOB Hong Kong price of US$6.00-6.50 per pair for a minimum order of 1,200 pairs per style. Delivery takes 30-40 days after order confirmation.
Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd is another highly regarded boot maker, whose product line includes a wide range of shoes and sandals for babies, children and women in particular.
The company, which was set up in 1989, today sells its high quality footwear to markets as diverse and demanding as the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and Japan.
"We have always believed in designing and selling what the consumer wants, not what our designers would like the consumer to wear," maintains general manager Joanne Wong.
"Our in-house designers never lose sight of the consumer's needs and fashion sensibilities when they come up with new designs and use newer materials."
This consumer demand has seen Lap Ko's latest boot designs sport a natural look and feel. "Instead of PU, we use more textiles and suede in our new styles," Wong says. "Our children's boots and other footwear now use accessories made of numerous eye-catching and sparkling materials."
The OEM producer, which makes shoes bearing such popular licensed characters as Barbie and Winnie the Pooh, introduces about 30-50 new styles for its major clients a month.
Its 640-square-metre, 300-worker factory in the mainland's Guangdong Province makes about 180,000-200,000 pairs a month using mainly synthetic materials and textiles sourced from Taiwan and Korea.
FOB Hong Kong prices range between US$3-5 per pair for minimum orders of about 1,200 pairs per style and colour, shipped 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Trendy designs in eye-catching colours have helped Eastwood Enterprises Ltd march ahead of many competitors in its key markets in South America and the UK, according to shipping executive Kam Fung.
"Our forte is in coming up with a virtually unbeatable line of boots that are irresistible to girls everywhere," she insists. "Currently, our girls' boots feature basic colours such as red, brown and light blue - which has proved to be very popular."
Among Eastwood's new designs, its model GG10-90 girl's work boot has become particularly fashionable. "Like all our styles, these boots also use an attractive combination of synthetic materials and leather, which are very popular right now," Fung adds.
The six-year-old company makes about 100,000 pairs of children's shoes every month, requires a minimum order size of 2,000 pairs per style and delivers 45 days after the client confirms an order.
Eastwood's footwear sports licensed brand names like Princess, Barbie and LA Gear. Production takes place at a 500-worker factory in Dongguan using a combination of synthetic and leather sourced from either Taiwan or Hong Kong.
Proving that there are very few shoemakers who can rival Hong Kong when it comes to producing trendy but tough boots.
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd
Rms 49-50, 3/F, Blk F
Wai Lok Ind Centre
37-41 Shan Mei St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Eastwood Enterprises Ltd
Elite Ind Centre
883 Cheung Sha Wan Rd
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Honest Shoes Trading Co Ltd
Lee May Bldg
788 Nathan Rd
Milano Leather Mfy
Flat H, 11/F, Phase II
Kwai Shing Ind Bldg
42-46 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Sunbo (HK) Ltd
Rms 1223 & 1225
Tung Ying Bldg
100 Nathan Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
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