14 Jan 2004
Fashion Bags(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 01,2004)
Miracle Support Co makes a bold fashion statement with its new collection of bags featuring eye-catching prints
Handbags are the ultimate ladies' fashion accessory, and fashionistas the world over are more than willing to pay a premium for well designed, high quality bags of all shapes and sizes.
No one knows this better than Hong Kong manufacturers such as Markham Int'l Ltd, which produces a wide range of handbags, purses and personal organisers, including a striking line of printed graphic handbags.
"Each of these has a specific graphic theme," explains marketing officer Iris Hau. "Examples include a Parisian caf?view, ladies walking their dogs, a florist, a hair stylist, a cityscape and a piano player."
The company manufactures canvas, microfibre, leather and PVC handbags at its 40,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. Markham's 250 workers can produce up to 100,000 handbags per month, with orders fulfilled 45 days after confirmation.
"We expect an antique look to be in vogue in the coming months, while buyers are also looking for handbags with a summery image," says Hau. "Pastel hues and metallic finishes will be in demand."
FOB Hong Kong prices are in the US$3-4 range, with a minimum order of 500 bags per style. Major markets are the US and Europe, although Markham has a small number of clients in other markets, including Japan.
Tinni Handbags Co Ltd also places great stock in design, employing a 35-strong design team to work with the colours and styles they feel will be a hit in coming seasons.
"Pastel colours will be in demand, especially for summer, while rivet holes and buckles will also be an important part of our forthcoming designs," director Albert Yeung predicts. "I also expect softer-bodied bags to be more popular."
Tinni mainly uses PVC and PU in its bags, although it will utilise other materials on request. "Printed canvas will be a popular fabric this year, particularly with floral prints," Yeung believes.
The company's 13,500-square-metre, 500-employee mainland plant in Shenzhen services OEM clients in Europe and the US, producing 100,000 pieces a month. FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$2.50-7.00 for a minimum order of 600 pieces per style, delivered 60 days after receipt of a letter of credit.
Italian leather is the preferred medium for York Star Co Ltd, whose director Eric Wong says soft-bodied bags appear to be in vogue and crocodile skin-effect handbags will be a popular item with buyers.
"We will mainly be focusing on basic hues to be safe, although clients are free to specify any special colours," Wong adds. "Design-wise we'll be using eye-catching buckles and rivets, but nothing too flashy. For spring, we feel the antique look will be in fashion, and will use materials such as nickel, brass and gunmetal in our bags."
FOB Hong Kong prices are generally around US$20-25, which Wong attributes to the strong euro in 2003. However, the company will source leather from other markets, such as Asia or the mainland, if a client wishes to minimise costs.
Indeed, Wong cites sourcing expertise as one of the 22-year-old company's main strengths, along with workmanship, quality and styling - "our team has a good eye for trends," he adds.
York Star mainly ships to Italy, France and the US, and is able to produce 200,000 pieces per month from its 300,000-square-foot, 1,500-employee Dongguan factory. The minimum order is 500 pieces per style, delivered 90 days after order confirmation.
Jade Dragon Group Co Ltd has produced its own Babila brand since 1988, and according to business development manager Kat Lui the company's main strength is its creative design team.
"We have some OEM business, although the majority of our clients in Europe and Japan prefer our own-brand products," says Lui. "Design is something we like to focus on and we liaise closely with our suppliers to devise new products around the latest materials."
She expects softer materials to be in vogue, together with understated colours such as camel and beige, and does not expect too much demand for basic colours such as grey, black, pink and metallic effects - although the company is ready to produce such items on request.
"We feel that embroidered motifs will be popular, as well as the 'creased effect,' where we fold material into a bunch at the opening of a handbag to make it appear wrinkled," she explains. "Buckles, buttons and ornate zippers are last season's look, and we're now using strap printing to give our bags a classic appearance."
Jade Dragon mainly uses PVC for its handbags, sometimes adding leather for the straps, and adopts leather craftsmanship techniques to give its handbags a handmade look.
The company can produce up to 30,000 handbags per month at its 12,000-square-metre, 900-employee factory in Dongguan. FOB Hong Kong prices are in the US$4-6 range, with a minimum order of 300 pieces per style, although the overall order must reach 4,000 pieces to fill one TEU.
When it comes to bagging big sales among fashion-conscious consumers all over the world, there's nowhere better to bag a bargain than the fashion bag manufacturers in Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY EDWARD CHUNG
Markham Int'l Ltd
Rm 306, 3/F
Yuen Fat Ind Bldg
25 Wang Chiu Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Tinni Handbags Co Ltd
Kwong Sang Hong Centre
151-153 Hoi Bun Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Wah Shing Enterprises Co Ltd
Rms 22-26, 8/F, Blk B
Proficient Ind Centre
6 Wang Chi Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
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