21 Jan 2005
Decorative Bags(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 01,2005)
Needless to say, Hong Kong leather goods manufacturers have taken full advantage of these proven strengths and are busily producing beautifully decorated bags at very competitive prices.
Typical of this trend is Cherrilite Co Ltd, which uses organza, satin and silk in bags that are decorated with rhinestones and beads. "We make all kinds of bags but specialise in high-end evening bags, which are often embroidered and trimmed with fringing," explains managing director Anna Kuk, adding that the 20-year-old company has an in-house team of designers who follow world trends.
"Handbags with elaborate attachments and decorations are high fashion these days and we make bags for many famous international names, including Lulu Guinness."
Kuk says Cherrilite sells to the US, Europe and Japan but is planning to expand its markets and will begin promotion on the mainland in the coming year.
"Previously we thought our bags were too expensive for the mainland market, but many more people now have money to spend on luxury items," she explains, maintaining that the emerging middle class will likely appreciate Cherrilite's products. "Our materials come from Taiwan, Korea and the mainland and all the embroidery work is done in our mainland factory."
Cherrilite's 100,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen employs 1,000 workers, who produce 200,000 bags a month at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$10-25 per bag. "Minimum order is 200 bags in any one style for delivery 40-45 days after confirmation," Kuk adds.
These same ancient Chinese embroidery techniques are evident in the polyester beaded handbags produced by Celesway Int'l Ltd.
"Each of our products is hand-crafted, using a method which combines ancient beading and embroidery techniques with modern hi-tech instruments and machinery," claims sales manager Heidi Cheuk, adding that much of the embroidery and beading is subcontracted to individual skilled workers.
She says Celesway's designers have created a number of fur-trimmed bags for winter 2005. "We sell to Europe, Japan and the US and plan to expand our markets to the Middle East," Cheuk reveals.
Founded in 1989, Celesway operates a mainland factory in Huizhou that employs 250 workers who produce 30,000 pieces a month, many bearing the Celesway brand.
"The minimum order is 200 bags with delivery promised in 30-60 days," Cheuk says. "FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$5-20 each."
Kammy Industrial Ltd, meanwhile, specialises in straw bags in a range of seasonal colours with appliqu?flowers and motifs. "Our bags are made mainly of woven straw, which is strong and light," explains merchandiser Gloria Wan. "We use paper straw, nylon, rayon, corn husk, wheat straw and rushes, seagrass and raffia, which we obtain from the mainland and the Philippines."
Wan believes that straw bags have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years and are now used as shopping bags and personal handbags with high fashion outfits. "Our designers create elegant styles which make them high fashion," she maintains.
Wan says Kammy's products are exported to "a broad customer base" in the US and the UK. "Our sales show steady growth and we are planning to expand our markets into Australia," she reveals.
Kammy's factories in Zhejiang and Shandong provinces on the mainland have a total floor space of 3,000 square feet and employ 3,000 workers, who produce 1,000 dozen bags a month. "FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$3-4 per bag," Wan says. "Minimum order is 1,200 bags in any one style and two colours, and delivery is promised in 60-90 days."
Elegant accessories for evening wear are the domain of Yue Fung Industrial Co, which manufactures embroidered and beaded evening bags. "Our bags are made from velvet, grosgrain and satin from Japan and Korea," explains sales manager Fonnie Cheung. "They are exquisitely embroidered and set with beading and rhinestones."
Cheung claims Yue Fung's bags are luxury items that will last for many years. "Our in-house designers produce some classic shapes, but other styles change with the seasons and new ideas are produced with every collection," she adds.
The 24-year-old company's three-floor factory in Guangdong Province produces 50,000 bags a month for export to Japan, Europe and the US.
Minimum quantities of 150 bags in each style and colour are delivered 50 days after order confirmation at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$6-95 each.
"We hope to expand in Asia but so far only sell to developed countries since we produce high quality bags which appeal to sophisticated buyers," Cheung says. "The ex-factory price of our rhinestone-studded bag is US$95, for example, but we make only a limited number of these a year."
Little wonder, then, that fashionable women all over the world look for Hong Kong decorative bags whenever they want to make a lasting impression.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Celesway Int'l Ltd
Cherrilite Co Ltd
Kammy Industrial Ltd
Kinstar Industrial Co Ltd
Yue Fung Industrial Co