1 Aug 2001
Fancy Footwork(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2001)
Vol 2, 2001
|The 26-year history of Form Success Co Ltd is part of the successful equation used in creating each fashionable style on offer in the company's Hong Kong showroom.|
AFTER more than two decades of success in making ladies'boots, shoes and sandals, Form Success Co Ltd refuses to stand still. "We are focused on the future while building on our strengths and experience,"declares company representative Leticia Chow.
Launched 26 years ago in Taiwan, Form Success transferred its head office to Hong Kong in 1986. Formerly a small trading enterprise, it has grown large enough to achieve annual turnover exceeding US$70m.
Focusing on high quality, competitive prices, prompt deliveries and flexibility has prompted the company to invest and expand. Three years ago it completed a new factory now employing 1,500 workers in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
A highly regarded research-and-development team is based at the factory, along with an 80-member quality-control section. "Throughout our operations, staff training is greatly emphasized,"says Chow.
The factory produces more than 400,000 pairs of shoes per month. The products are mid-range, although the company has moved upward in the market since hiring a new designer three years ago.
"Our designer is from Spain and works on developing our own ranges. He helps with new developments and raising our product quality. Our business is split between buyers bringing their own styles for development and those who opt for our styling,"Chow says.
High-fashion styles dominate the company's Hong Kong showroom. Elegant dress shoes and colourful sandals abound while beading and embroidery enhance the delicate straps.
"Thinner, but lower, heels are an emerging trend. We also make classic-style court shoes and office shoes, as well as casual fabric-covered mules and wooden-soled slip-ons,"Chow says.
Most raw materials are from Taiwan. Soles, inners and heels are made from PVC, PU, TVPR and EVA while most uppers are PU.
The company's main markets are the US and Europe. Its representatives build and expand relationships and gather market information by attending footwear fairs in the US, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong.
Although the Internet is a prime source of new enquiries, Chow insists that sound traditional business practices are crucial in the process of building those invaluable supplier-customer relationships that endure for many years.
"We find that strong service, high quality, competitive prices and the establishment of good relationships with clients are all key factors in our success,"she concludes.
Form Success Co Ltd
Units 14-16, 11/F,
China Aerospace Tower,
Concordia Plaza 1 Science Museum Rd,
Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Vanson Footwear Co Ltd
|These sandals from Vanson Footwear Co Ltd gain ground in overseas markets, thanks to the bright colours plus printed and patterned soles.|
THE popularity of casual attire is good news for Vanson Footwear Co Ltd, a leading producer of fashionable and sporty sandals. Realizing that even the simplest flip-flops make a fashion statement, the company's customers want a wide variety.
"People are wearing sandals more often. We have the techniques and knowledge to produce styles fitting this trend, as well as the new fashions,"says director Mike Tang.
Yet new manufacturing processes and a keen eye for fashion trends are not enough. "Our success is mainly due to the emphasis we place on tight cost controls, accurate delivery times and high quality,"Tang says.
Ladies'sandals account for 60% of Vanson's output. The company offers thong-style, low or platform slip-on, slide, mule and sporty models. Bright colours, printed and patterned soles, textured and jazzy trims are all key design elements in the latest range.
Tang expects the demand for highly decorated thong styles to continue, with raffia and textured uppers remaining popular.
Sporty styles with straps, functional buckles or hook-and-loop tape fastenings and contoured grip soles are core products in the range for men.
"We used to make only low-end products, but we have upgraded our processes. Our sports sandals are an example of this change in direction,"says Tang.
The sandals for infants and children are even more colourful while reflecting adult styles. Fun accessories and trims, animal faces, flowers and character motifs make for amusing and practical footwear.
"The basic materials are EVA foam and PU which we manufacture ourselves, enabling us to control costs and keep a close eye on quality,"says Tang.
Established in 1984, Vanson shifted its production from Hong Kong to nearby Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland in the early 1990s. Recently, it opened a new 30,000-square-metre factory full of state-of-the-art machinery near Guangzhou.
The company is IS0 9002-certified. Each month, its 1,600 workers can produce up to 600,000 pairs of sandals. Leading markets are the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Panama.
"For US clients we produce lower-end products for sale in chain or discount stores. These are obviously price sensitive, yet we remain conscious of quality,"Tang says.
While US demand has eased this year, business from elsewhere has improved with more repeat orders from Europe and Japan.
"Our European customers are more adventurous in the styles they select. We have the skills to develop any sandal styles required,"Tang says.
Tang predicts that mainland membership of the World Trade Organization will assist Hong Kong's footwear industry. Naturally, he wishes to expand in European markets "Once quotas are eliminated".
Vanson garners significant advantages from its commitment to research and its philosophy of forward thinking. "We use efficient management strategies, foster awareness of technology and learn new techniques to meet market demands,"Tang concludes.
Vanson Footwear Co Ltd
Unit 17, 6/F, Trans Asia Centre,
18 Kin Hong Street, Kwai Chung,
New Territories, Hong Kong
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