5 Feb 2009
Creative Collections(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 01,2009)
She had to develop a fashion footwear line that would appeal to ladies who enjoyed wearing a variety of different shoe styles, but who suddenly had to watch their budgets. "I've been with the company for about six months and this is my second collection," Ms Chow explains.
Her new line for Vitamin's own Doilie Mse label focuses on two innovative new design ideas - the "multi-way" boot and the "collar".
"The boot is lined with an attractive combination of real and synthetic fur and can be worn with the top just below the knee or rolled down to different levels of the calf," Ms Chow says. "One design can offer as many as five different looks, and the collection is accordingly called Transformation."
The new Doilie Mse range of pumps and booties is complemented by a selection of co-ordinated "collars" designed to be worn on the ankle just above the shoe.
The "collar" collection lets ladies in their 20s-30s wear their pumps or booties unadorned for a professional look, and add the collars for a more dressy style when going out.
"Collar lets ladies express themselves as it is a perfect shoe accessory and can be worn wherever ladies want -- even under the knee or on their wrists," Ms Chow notes.
The Doilie Mse range is a new initiative for Vitamin, which was established in 1998, says Sales and Marketing manager Bonnie Leung.
"Most of our business is OEM and we established our own brand last year," she explains.
Main markets are Japan and Europe - mostly Japan - but Vitamin is trying to open up more European markets. "We are focusing on the UK, and also looking at the US."
Vitamin currently manufactures at two factories on the Chinese mainland, one of which specialises in leather shoes while the other handles PU footwear and other products.
Most of Vitamin's production is leather shoes, which range from US$20-30 FOB while fabric footwear prices vary. "Our minimum order is 500 pairs but we ask for 3,000 for a new product," Ms Leung advises.
Some 80%-85% of the company's production is OEM. "Customers give us designs, but we often amend and modify them when making samples," Ms Leung notes. "We are hoping to build our own brand to a higher proportion of our output."
The company has also recently diversified into producing handbags, although it continues to specialise in shoes, with green and purple shades dominating Vitamin's latest autumn/winter 2009 collection.
"We will be attending fairs in Hong Kong and China, for which it is important to have something new," says Ms Leung, adding that she expects the Collar and Transformation collections to be particularly popular in Japan.
Vitamin is planning to develop more styles. "We think there is a lot of potential in the shoe business, and also in the new range of handbags," Ms Leung concludes.