18 Jan 2008
Firm Favourites(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 01,2008)
Fashion Leather Bags
|Kinstar Handbag Mfg Co Ltd adds decorative accents with leopard-spot panels (top) and red-and-green handles (bottom)|
Few fashion accessories can rival the appeal of leather bags, which never fall out of favour with women all over the world
Nothing quickens the pulse of a style-conscious woman so much as a fashionable leather bag that adds the finishing touch to any outfit.
Not surprisingly, like so many other products, most of the most competitively priced and highest-quality leather fashion bags are to be found in Hong Kong.
Years of experience have made Hong Kong manufacturers old hands at studying market trends and creating the best possible bags to perpetuate the magic of fashion.
"We make fashion handbags, but fashion changes quickly so we constantly develop new products," says Stanley Ng, Director of Kinstar Handbag Mfg Co Ltd, whose company exhibits twice a year at Hong Kong Fashion Week.
Product development is Kinstar's strength, he claims. "We have in-house designers and more than 20 sample-makers," Mr Ng explains, adding that many of the company's human and financial resources go towards product development. "Recently, we moved to a bigger factory building, which has helped boost production."
Kinstar Assistant Manager Toby Ho tracks overseas trends. "We gather information and learn from our clients in different places," she says. "Our bags are very fashionable with high quality and good workmanship."
Fashion-savvy Kinstar offers a mid-sized model, KS-3865-02, in grainy leather with four panels that add a leopard-spot pattern. "This bag comes in black or brown," Ms Ho notes. "The grainy leather isn't unusual, but our design makes the bag attractive and different."
Many customers request grey bags, so Kinstar complies with model KS-3996-02 in wrinkled patent leather, while red-and-green handles add extra flair.
"Grey is a popular worldwide colour trend," Ms Ho observes. "Buyers also like the bag's metal panel, which is an ideal platform to display our Ibiza brand name."
Patent leather also remains in vogue among fashion-conscious consumers. "But now the bags must be more colourful," Mr Ng adds.
Kinstar enjoys working with overseas brands like Benetton and Carpisa. "The handbag business is competitive and tough," Mr Ng says. "We position ourselves in the mid-range by stressing quality and workmanship."
Colour is also important to Adco (HK) Ltd, whose sales manager Katy Siu suggests the reason why so many consumers show unbridled enthusiasm for leather bags. "Women enjoy matching the bags with clothing - dresses, shoes and handbags can go together," she reasons.
Although Adco produces mainly handbags, some customers also ask the company for belts and wallets because they want them to match the bags.
"Some ladies love genuine leather bags for the durability and high-class appearance, while others see synthetic bags as trendy with more materials and styles."
Buyers favour patent leather's shiny look, but like silver and golden hues for a metallic appearance. "Some patchwork styles are popular too," Ms Siu adds.
She says there's "strong demand" for normal to big sizes, yet small clutch bags, once mostly for evening wear, do well. "Clutch bags are entering the realm of casual wear, and some customers order them in more casual styles."
Ms Siu claims Adco excels in Europe. "Our design team has success with the styles and trends that Europeans like," she says, adding that Adco offers "quality bags" and "strong" customer services.
"We build good relationships with our own suppliers," Ms Siu insists. "When our customers need something unusual or special, we find ways to comply using the most suitable materials and hardware."
Typical of Adco's output are models AD29540A and AD30644, two fashion handbags in nappa leather from South America that appeal to "elegant and mature ladies" aged 30-plus. "These bags are simple, but sophisticated," Ms Siu says. "They're available in black, white, brown-tan or red."
Prices vary for bags in different sizes, styles, leather types and quantities, with genuine-leather bags, made mostly of cowhide, ranging from US$20-45 FOB Hong Kong per piece. "Demand increases steadily," Ms Siu notes.
New Faith Creative Products Mfg Ltd Marketing Manager Wincy Chan is also noticing rising demand. "Lots of customers ask for real leather because more people can afford it now," she believes. "Actually, we make whatever bags our customers want."
Ms Chan says New Faith's business is based on good quality - especially the stitching. "We're always on time and can make special styles," she avers.
New Faith offers genuine-leather creations ranging from tiny clutch bags measuring 5x5x3 inches to large 20x16x10 inch shoulder bags.
Some new models in distressed real leather have a two-tone look. "They're very stylish and appeal to ladies aged 25-35," Marketing Executive May Wan maintains.
Model NH00121, a hobo-style, rounded bag with foam under the leather, measures 11x7x10 inches. "It's quite large and closes with a hidden metallic snap," Ms Wan says, citing a unit price of approximately US$50 FOB Yantian.
Tote bag model NH00134 is bigger and squarer at 15x7x11 inches, and unit-priced at about US$80. "This one has foam too, and a zipper closure," Ms Wan adds.
Also with foam and a zipper, the 16x6x11-inch Model NH00127 has significant carrying capacity and is unit-priced at U$55. "A frame at the top edge gives extra strength," Ms Wan notes.
Ultimately, there's something for everyone when it comes to the fashionable leather bags that are firm favourites with consumers worldwide.
TEXT BY JOHN CAIRNS
|Adco (HK) Ltd
23 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
|Year Established: 1996|
Major Product Categories: handbags, wallets, belts and accessories
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 500 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 60-65 days
Factory Size & Location: -
Adson Group Ltd
Year Established: 1982
Euro Pacific Development Ltd
Year Established: 2005
Year Established: 2003
Year Established: 1998
Year Established: 1985