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Elegance Afoot(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 01,2002)

Vol 1, 2002

Product Features

Elegance Afoot
Ladies' Classic Shoes

Early Pace-Setters
Children's Shoes

Soggy Street, Dry Feet
Wet-Weather Fashions

 

 

Elegance Afoot

Ladies' Classic Shoes

At C & M Shoes Co, a high-heel, croco-pattern shoe (left) shares the spotlight with one featuring a rubber sole and printed-PU upper.

LOOKING elegant from head to toe requires wearing the right shoes. Hong Kong-based manufacturers are known for their ability to produce affordable footwear.

C & M Shoes Co covers all bases in its casual, dressy and business shoes for ladies and girls. Prices start at US$4 per pair FOB Hong Kong for sandals and reach US$6.50 per pair for boots.

The 12-year-old company's business is split between OEM or private-label orders and its in-house brands: Le Modele and Two-Mix.

"We developed the brands two years ago so we could have our own image," says manager Kian Chow. Le Modele involves classic ladies' pumps while Two-Mix is a fashion-oriented brand. Both lines cost US$4-5 FOB Hong Kong per pair.

PU uppers, PVC heels and rubber soles are the main materials, although mesh and fabrics like denim are sometimes used. Eight hundred workers at the company's factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland produce 100,000 pairs of shoes monthly.

"The trend for summer is towards pointier toes and lower heels (11/2-2 inches). Red, navy, black, white and camel are popular colours," Chow says.

Europe is the company's biggest market, followed by the US, Canada and South Africa. Minimum order is 1,000 pairs per style, with shipment 60 days after order confirmation.

Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd, a 22-year-old OEM and private-label supplier, specializes in ladies' classic pumps, mainly in black or white. "Our shoes are dressy or for business," says director Mak Cheuk-kuen.

Made of PU uppers, TPR or PU soles and PVC heels, the shoes cost US$5-7 FOB Hong Kong per pair and are exported to the US and UK. The company also makes fashion sandals.

The versatility of PU in simulating other materials allows close adherence to fashion trends. "Our customers have been interested in satin, crocodile and snake-look PU uppers," Mak says. Surfaces usually remain smooth, but some shoes have embroidery or buckles.

Heel sizes level off at about 21/2 inches. "Heels resembling wood are popular," says Mak. EVA recreates the texture of wood.

At Conasia's factory in Guangdong Province, 300 workers produce 150,000 pairs monthly. Minimum order is 800 pairs per colour or style for shipment after 45-60 days.

At Magna Marvin Ltd, in-house designs are used to create 10,000-20,000 pairs of shoes for ladies and children each month.

About 60% of this private-label supplier's products feature synthetics like PU while the remainder are leather shoes. "We use cowhide or PU for uppers and TPR for soles and heels," says director Wendy Leung.

Established in 1984, Magna Marvin is known for casual shoes and boots but recently expanded to offer ladies' pumps.

"Ladies' pumps represent 10-20% of our sales, but we would like them to be 50%," Leung says. The company also aims to make more leather shoes.

Its leather pumps cost US$7-8 FOB Hong Kong per pair; PU pumps and casual PU shoes US$4-5; ladies' casual leather shoes US$7-9; children's casual PU shoes US$3-4; and PU or leather boots US$15-20. All are made at the company's factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.

Magna Marvin's main markets are Japan, the US, the UK and Australia. Minimum order is 500 pairs per style. For orders of less than 10,000 pairs, shipment is after 10-14 days. Other shipments require a month.

Create Earth Co Ltd focuses on children's shoes, along with ladies' shoes, sandals and boots. Uppers are crafted from PVC, PU or such fabrics as lycra, raffia, linen or denim. Soles are rubber, TPR, PU or PVC with the heels featuring PVC or APS.

Prices are US$3-6 FOB Hong Kong per pair for ladies' items and US$2-5 for children's styles. Each month, 400 workers at the company's factory in Guangdong Province produce 150,000-200,000 pairs for export to the US, the Middle East and Europe.

"We make casual and dressy ladies' shoes with heels of 1-31/2 inches. In sandals, the demand is for jeans fabric and raffia. Patent leather is coming back in Europe," says general manager Fairlan Ip. Slingbacks costing US$3-4 FOB Hong Kong per pair also do well.

Create Earth Co accepts OEM and private-label orders. Minimum order is 1,000 pairs per style for shipment 30 days after order confirmation.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA

Contact Details

Ahead Footwear Mfr (HK) Co Ltd
14/F, Crawford Tower
99 Jervois St
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2410-9531
Fax: 852-2541-8418
E-mail: ahead@hktrade.com

C & M Shoes Co
10/F, Unit L, Blk 3
Camelpaint Bldg
60 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2763-9303
Fax: 852-2763-6130
E-mail: cctl@netvigator.com

Conasia Industries (HK) Ltd
3/F, Rms 49-50, Blk F
Wah Lok Ind Centre
37-41 Shan Mei St, Fo Tan
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2695-9290
Fax: 852-2694-1750
E-mail: sia328@netvigator.com

Create Earth Co Ltd
3/F, Unit B
Wing Wong Comm Bldg
557-559 Nathan Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2626-1008
Fax: 852-2626-1020
E-mail: cec122@netvigator.com

Magna Marvin Ltd
22/F, Flat 4, Canny Ind Bldg
33 Tai Yau St, San Po Kong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2603-0229
Fax: 852-2602-7170
E-mail: magna@i-cable.com

Welldone Shoes Co
Rm 503, Charm Centre
700 Castle Peak Rd, Lai Chi Kok
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2370-0823
Fax: 852-2748-1326
E-mail: welldon@hkstar.com


Early Pace-Setters

Children's Shoes

Grander Industrial (HK) Ltd designs this PU shoe, complete with playful heart-shapes and TPR soles.

THE fast-paced industry producing children's shoes is almost as speedy as the footwork of the young consumers it serves. Amid intense competition, manufacturers vie with each other to produce footwear in new designs, features and materials. They have long moved beyond the exclusive use of traditional materials like leather and textiles to incorporate more durable and cost-effective options like PU and PVC.

Grander Industrial (HK) Ltd makes a wide variety. "We offer attractive colours and stylish designs in casual, fashionable and comfortable shoes. In addition to dress and casual shoes, we also make sports models for activities like jogging or hiking," says sales manager Christina Lam.

Founded in 1994, the company has its head office in Hong Kong and 1,800 factory workers in Fujian on the Chinese mainland. Its shoes for children are made from PU, synthetic suede, PU nubuck and leather. Monthly output exceeds 250,000 pairs. Main markets are Europe, Asia and Australia.

The usual price range is US$2.50-3.80 FOB Hong Kong per pair. Minimum order is for one TEU or about 1,500 pairs per style, colour or size. Shipment is 35-45 days after receiving a letter of credit.

Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd aims to place its products on youngsters early in life. "We believe in catching them young. Our range goes from shoes for babies to those for older children," says director Katherine Wong.

The success of such strategy is judged by the fact that Lap Ko's major Asian markets stretch from Japan to Australia. The company also serves customers in the US, Canada and Europe.

The 13-year-old enterprise operates a 250-worker factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.

Uppers for its children's shoes are made of PU, PVC, textiles and leather while the soles are mainly PVC. Raw materials come from Taiwan and the mainland.

Some of Lap Ko's products are licensed to depict Barbie, Winnie the Pooh or characters from Sesame Street, all creating instant appeal to children. The company accepts OEM work.

Monthly production capacity is about 100,000 pairs. Prices are US$1.50-6.00 FOB Hong Kong per pair. Minimum order is 1,200 pairs per style and colour for shipment 60 days after order confirmation of approved samples.

Best Way Footwear Co Ltd makes casual, formal and school shoes, sometimes displaying popular images like Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh and Walt Disney characters, for whom it holds "authorized global manufacturing licences", says director Tang Siu-ming.

The company has a widespread client base in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and Africa. "Our stylish children's shoes in tasteful colour combinations are made using EVA materials sourced from the US, Japan and elsewhere," says Tang.

Established in 1990, Best Way employs 600 workers at its factory in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland. Its prices are US$1-4 FOB Hong Kong per pair. Minimum order is one TEU, with shipments departing 45 days after order confirmation.

Hong-Tech Footwear Co marketing executive Catherine Siu offers a product range stretching from boots and school shoes to casual wear and sandals. The shoes feature a combination of materials, including PU soles and uppers made of "full-grain and action leather".

For the seven years since its establishment, Hong-Tech has stressed quality. "Ten quality controllers with extensive production experience oversee this vital aspect," Siu says.

Hong-Tech's factories employ 200-300 workers in Guangdong Province. Each month the company makes about 100,000 pairs of children's shoes.

Hong-Tech's main markets are the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Prices depend on order size and other specifications. Minimum order is 500 pairs per colour and style for shipment 35-40 days after receiving an original letter of credit.

WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN

Contact Details

Article Shoes Fty Ltd
Suite 1304, Tower A
Hunghom Comm Centre
39 Ma Tau Wai, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2362-9832
Fax: 852-2330-1770
E-mail: artdc@hkstar.com

Best Way Footwear Co Ltd
Rm 1102, 168 Sai Yeung Choi St
Mong Kok
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2398-1168
Fax: 852-2391-0282
E-mail: bestwayf@hkstar.com

Grander Industrial (HK) Ltd
Rm 2305, Honeywell Tower
Olympia Plaza, 255 King's Rd
North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2566-0769
Fax: 852-2887-5665
E-mail: grander@granderind.com

Hong-Tech Footwear Co
6/F, Flat B
Chou Chong Comm Bldg
422-428 Castle Peak Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2742-2813
Fax: 852-2349-7827
E-mail: hongtech@pacific.net.hk

Lap Ko Shoes Mfrs Ltd
10/F, Unit 11, Blk A
Hoi Luen Ind Centre
55 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-3375
Fax: 852-2389-3513
E-mail: lapko@hknet.com

Toneast Footwear Ltd
Unit 2513, Miramar Tower
1-23 Kimberley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2420-3289
Fax: 852-2494-9221
E-mail: shoes@toneast.com.hk


Soggy Street, Dry Feet

Wet-Weather Fashions

These variations in warmth-preserving snow boots from Forum Footwear Co shelter feet in cold-weather markets like Canada, Sweden and the US.

NO matter how wet or cold weather conditions become, users of Hong Kong wet-weather fashions can keep their feet stylish and comfortable. While endeavouring to outpace all competitors, Hong Kong suppliers focus squarely on higher quality, better customer care and service and faster deliveries.

"Although highly seasonal, the business of wet-weather footwear remains quite strong despite razor-thin margins," says Forum Footwear Co assistant manager Ken Wong.

"The best season is from March to August, when we ship an average of 60,000 pairs of snow shoes monthly."

The key to success is staying up to date on fashion trends and advances in raw materials. "Naturally, buyers and vendors help us in this regard, so we can respond quickly to market forces," Wong says.

Snow boots are moulded in-house using TPR soles and suede, PU, PVC or nylon uppers and warm boa inners. Fastenings are laces or hook and loop.

There are three basic sizes: children's, women's and men's, but individual buyers specify sizes for particular markets. "The highest demand is for the children's and men's sizes," Wong says.

Buyers usually stipulate the best colours for their markets. "Children's wear tends to be brightly coloured while adult fashions are more sober," says Wong.

Quality is assured by regular laboratory tests on raw materials, supplemented by production-line checks following the waterproof taping of any stitching.

Prices for snow boots start at US$5.50 a pair (children's sizes 28-34) and reach US$12 for sturdy hiker-style snow boots. All prices are FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order is usually 3,000 pairs.

"That minimum is based on a current pattern being available. For a new design or pattern, we require minimum orders of 8,000-10,000 pairs per size," Wong says. Shipments are 45 days after order confirmation.

Ever-Prosperous Trading Co Ltd supplies rubber boots in sizes to fit every man, woman or child and in colours appropriate to any purpose or taste.

Ever-Prosperous Trading Co Ltd, which already has extensive experience in making regular footwear, has added a line of rubber boots. "We have first-class connections with leading footwear manufacturers, many of whom we have done business with for more than 20 years, mostly in canvas and jogging-shoe lines. Investing in the rubber-boots sector was a natural progression," says managing director Raymond Ng.

Ever-Prosperous Trading is a one-stop shop for all wet-weather footwear. "We source our boots from factories all over the Chinese mainland, even some that are very remote. We can offer new designs and guarantee the quality. We monitor each phase of an order with qualified on-site personnel."

Buyers appreciate the attention and care devoted to orders. "We tend to source fashionable lines - rubber boots with flair and added value. This makes the products easier for buyers to incorporate into their existing branded lines," Ng says.

Delivery is another plus. "Most manufacturers need 60 days lead time, but our extensive network of suppliers usually allows us to reduce that by one-third. We always find solutions when time is of the essence," says Ng.

Lickay Plastics Ltd is a major supplier of PVC rain boots for children and rubber boots for men, women and children. There is also a unisex range.

"We make PVC boots using plastic injection moulding techniques and by adding nylon liners. Rubber boots are first cut from sheets of raw rubber and vulcanized," says director Louis Lei.

For PVC boots, Lickay uses Japanese shoe lasts because many of the major buyers are Japanese. For rubber boots, European lasts are better since demand is higher in Europe.

Lickay ships more than 300,000 pairs of wet-weather footwear annually. "Business is best from September to January when most western countries prepare for or enter the cold, wet season. Demand is highest in the children's market."

Typical prices (per pair) are US$1.60 FOB Hong Kong for children's PVC rain boots, US$3 FOB Xingang on the Chinese mainland for children's rubber boots and US$4 FOB Xingang for men's rubber boots. Minimum order is 3,000 pairs for shipment after 30 days.

Eastwood Int'l Ltd director K.M. Hung says price cuts are not a viable response to stiff competition. "Prices directly relate to raw-material costs, and unless vendors reduce the prices of PVC, nylon and rubber sheet, there is little room for price cuts. Our labour costs are already very low," he says.

The company's strongest strategy is to enhance service. "We act as a control centre for buyers. We take care of everything for them: sourcing, quality, shipment, after-sales and more. We can guarantee shipment times, provide a wide range of products and accept relatively short lead times," says Hung.

Usual prices start at US$3 per pair for rubber boots, US$2.65 for children's rain boots, US$5.10 for adults' snow boots and US$3.70 for children's snow boots. All prices are FOB Hong Kong and based on orders of at least one TEU. Standard lead time is 60 days.

The children's market is strong and characterized by appealing colours and cheerful designs, often featuring cartoon characters or animals on the trim or stitching seal.

"For a container-load order, we can allow the buyer to add his own logo," says Hung.

WRITTEN BY ANTHONY MOORE

Contact Details

Eastwood Int'l Ltd
Rm 902, 113 Argyle St
Mong Kok
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2815-1148
Fax: 852-2851-7703
E-mail: eastwood@netvigator.com

Ever-Prosperous Trading Co Ltd
Rm 1202, Blissful Bldg
247 Des Voeux Rd Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2541-0090
Fax: 852-2815-0357
E-mail: reakng@netvigator.com

Forum Footwear Co
12/F, Unit 9
Siu Wai Ind Centre
29-33 Wing Hong St, Lai Chi Kok
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2743-3186
Fax: 852-2743-3196
E-mail: forum88@netvigator.com

Lickay Plastics Ltd
Rms 2112-2113
Luen Cheong Can Centre
6-8 Yip Wong Rd, Tuen Mun
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2403-1108
Fax: 852-2463-7117
E-mail: export@lickay.com.hk

Vanguard Shoe Co
5/F, Flat 4, Blk A
New Trade Plaza
6 On Ping St, Sha Tin
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2645-0129
Fax: 852-2144-5806
E-mail: careerin@ismart.net

 

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