13 April 2007
Fashionable Frills(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 02,2007)
Leather Trim Collection
Casual leather and PVC bags represent a new direction for Heiman Mfg Ltd, which has been making PVC and PU bags for two decades
Sophisticated women have long known that there is no better way to catch someone's eye than with the right accessory such as a lightweight handbag accented with the rich look of leather.
Their undying enthusiasm for leather trim is shared by experienced Hong Kong companies such as Adson Group Ltd, which has produced a tote-style, satin handbag in beige with orange leather trim that makes the perfect spring accessory.
The US$38 FOB Hong Kong bag features a stylish double-buckle design, with faille lining, zippered and open pockets and a mobile phone pouch. "This is our new design and comes in a choice of 12 leather and six fabric colours," says director Susan Cabanal.
The bag is available in small, medium and large sizes, and the company also makes use of other materials such as polyester, canvas and twill as well as satin.
Handbags account for about 35% of the 120,000 units the OEM/ODM firm produces monthly at its two factories in Jiangmen and Suzhou on the Chinese mainland.
The 25-year-old company produces a variety of other small leather goods including wallets and agendas, briefcases and belts, which are equally popular in its main markets - Italy, the US, Germany, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Adson Group requires minimum orders of 300 pieces per style and 2,000 pieces per shipment for its handbags, which are in the medium- to high-end range at US$25-100 each FOB Hong Kong, and delivers 60-75 days after order confirmation.
Meanwhile, matched handbag and wallet sets are strong sellers at Smart Global Enterprises Ltd, one of whose most popular items is a leather-trimmed nylon handbag and wallet set designed for casual wear.
The lightweight duffel-style handbag features zippered inner pockets and a mobile phone pouch, while the wallet has 6-8 credit card slots and a coin pocket.
"We can make the bag and wallet in any colour the customer wants," assures merchandiser Vicky Siu, adding that the bag can be ordered in different sizes and noting that new items this year are handbags and wallets with a soft, quilted look.
Same 400 workers at Smart Global's mainland factory in Shenzhen produce 60,000 handbags and 100,000 wallets per month for export to Europe, as well as leather-trimmed desktop items such as memo pads and pen holders.
The four-year-old OEM/ODM's handbags come in a variety of materials, including cotton, suede, canvas and PU/PVC, and are unit-priced from US$2-50 per bag FOB Hong Kong.
Wallets range from US$1-5 each, with both products requiring minimum orders of 500 pieces delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Leather bags with PVC trim are a new direction for Heiman Mfg Ltd, which has been making PU and PVC handbags and wallets since 1987. "We want to move into higher-end products," reveals director Peter Chau. "They're doing especially well in Japan."
He adds that the leather-and-PVC combination makes the bags more affordably-priced, and notes that Heiman began producing these casual-style handbags in 2004.
They now account for 40% of the 80,000 handbags produced monthly, thanks to a competitive pricing policy that sees FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$20-30 for leather-and-PVC bags, US$5-8 for PVC handbags and US$6-9 for PU bags.
Over the next few years, the ISO 9001-certified OEM/ODM wants to further increase its proportion of leather-and-PVC bags to 60%, with 40% reserved for PVC and PU bags.
"The latest fashion and design trends for spring are gold-coloured metal buckles and trim, larger bags in Europe and white or light pink bags," Chau says, adding that a minimum order is 300-500 pieces per item delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
The 20-year-old company already exports to Japan, North America and Western Europe but is aiming to venture further afield. "We're planning to expand in Eastern Europe," Chau adds.
In addition, Heiman intends to put more emphasis on developing its two in-house brands, Moore and Belle. "The Moore brand is geared to leather-and-PVC bags while Belle is used for PVC bags," Chau explains.
Similarly experienced, fashion handbag, cosmetic pouch and belt manufacturer Jade Dragon Group Co Ltd has been developing its export markets in Europe since 1995, while operating more than 20 leather goods retail shops in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland.
The OEM/ODM firm uses materials ranging from PVC/PU and leather to twill, polyester and PVC/PU or canvas bags trimmed with leather. "Leather-trimmed bags are becoming more popular now and are about 20% of our production," says merchandiser Winnie Cheung, adding that the handbags are unit-priced at US$15-20 FOB Hong Kong.
Jade Dragon Group's three large mainland factories in Dongguan cover 100,000 square feet and employ 1,500 workers, who produce 60,000 handbags and 100,000 wallets per month.
"Minimum order is 3,500-4,000 pieces with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation," Cheung says, emphasising that Jade Dragon Group makes a point of closely monitoring fashion trends and consistently introduces 500 new handbag designs each month.
This combination of fashion and quality is hard to beat when it comes to fashionable frills, and it's no wonder Hong Kong leather-trimmed handbags are constantly at the forefront of what today's women want.
TEXT BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Adson Group Ltd
Units 11-13, 16/F
Millennium City 5
418 Kwun Tong Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Faithwise Leatherwares Ltd
Rm 6, 9/F, Blk A
Fuk Keung Ind Bldg
66-68 Tong Mi Rd, Kowloon