27 Oct 2008
Handsome Holders(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2008)
Key Pouches, Purses& Wallets
Today's key pouches, purses and wallets are fashion a accessories as well as practical items
The latest trends in design and style drive demand for key pouches, purses and wallets, which have become essential helpmates in the daily routine to manage coins, cards and kit.
Hong Kong manufacturers such as Sun Lick Mfy Ltd offer a vast range of styles that ensures buyers can find the perfect product for their own individual market, such as its range of wallets that incorporate the continuing trend for products with a handcrafted look.
A classic example of this look is model 713, which features a PU-coated split leather cover and a PU lining and has five banknote compartments, a zipper compartment and a metal closure.
Popular colours include black and burgundy, says Manageress Regina Ling. "We get the inspirations for our design from fashion magazines, exhibitions or even local retailers," she reveals. "We introduce our new products approximately every quarter."
Ms Ling says that it is important to take into consideration the different views of each market when it comes to designing products. "Different markets have different tastes," she observes.
For example, US consumers like multiple banknote compartments, lots of credit card compartments, a cheque book compartment and space for items such as pens, which means a much bulkier product. "European consumers, however, prefer slim styles with just one banknote compartment, a few credit card compartments and perhaps a coin pocket."
Sun Lick is always seeking ways to remain ahead of the competition and in July 2008 completed a one-year training course conducted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. "This course enabled us to understand how to raise efficiency, meet prompt delivery times, and produce competitively priced products," Ms Ling says.
Super Point Industrial Ltd Managing Director Herman Lam agrees with Ms Ling regarding consumer requirements, adding that different markets have their own distinct colour preferences. "In addition to North American customers wanting more compartments than other markets, they also favour classic colours like black, brown and burgundy," he maintains. "European customers are very fashion-oriented - they always look for things such as new designs, and new materials."
New models that Super Point is confident will be popular during coming seasons include TC-6067-3, which features eight credit card slots, one ID window, banknote compartments and a back zip gusset for coins. "It measures 5 5/8 x 1 x 3 3/4 inches, features croco PVC exteriors and a PU and nylon interior, and comes in brown, black and red," Mr Lam advises.
TC-5019-2A, a blue-bow clutch measuring 7x1x4 inches, has 10 credit card slots, an ID window, bill compartments, a zip pocket for coins and is made from lizard PU, with PU and nylon lining.
"Other colour options include tan, grey, purple, gold, black, brown and red," Mr Lam says, adding that the first model would be more popular in Europe because of its fashionable rivet design, while the latter would be more in demand in the US because it has more compartments and a classic clutch look.
"The clutch style is actually becoming increasingly popular in other markets too," Mr Lam notes. "It holds everything a lady needs when she goes out and it can also be a major fashion accessory, which will highlight an outfit."
Super Point may debut new models in fall/winter and spring/summer but Wonder Best Group Co Ltd has no set schedule for introducing new products, preferring to base its new output on customers' requests for new designs, new items and new features.
Two of Wonder Best's classic items are model K-3017, a key holder offering five pockets and six key holders, and model SW-1022, a wallet. The latter has a total of 10 pockets, including a coin purse, bill compartment and credit card holders, although both products are made from cow leather and feature satin lining. "While not new products they are our traditional models and are still a very popular design for this year," claims Manageress Annie Wong.
All Wonder Best Group's leather products come in a range of colours, with colour options dependent on order quantity. "If the order is large enough, we will dye the leather any colour the client requests," Ms Wong advises.
Nonetheless, she admits that it is "difficult" to predict which market would experience the most growth in the coming 12 months due to the global credit crunch. "All the major markets' economies are experiencing problems so we will be happy with stable business," Ms Wong concedes. "But regardless of the market, we believe the demand for products made from premium materials will continue."
Obviously, Hong Kong manufacturers have the knowledge and experience required to ensure that their handsome holders will be the preferred choice of discerning consumers all round the world.
WRITTEN BY VICKI WILLIAMS