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High Heels(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2006)

Tip Top

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High-heeled shoes from Melody Shoes Shop that feature beading, embroidery and crochet are perfect for evenings out

High heels are the ultimate in sexy footwear, accentuating the shape of a woman's legs, adding stylish height and giving a special verve to any outfit.

For an up-to-the-minute take on these footwear essentials, astute buyers hotfoot it to Hong Kong where they know they will find the perfect fit at the perfect price.

For example, Generation Daniel Self Made offers some 100 high-heel styles with kid leather or PU leather uppers that sport 7-8cm heels and are priced from HK$85-200 FOB Hong Kong per pair.

Founded in 1998, the company produces 2,000-3,000 pairs per month at its 150-worker factory in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland, many with hand-applied decorative beadwork, crystals or sequins.

Marketing executive Joanne Li says that inner soles are typically satin or PU leather. "We also sell evening dresses so we make the shoes to match," she adds.

One popular item for the past two years has been Generation Daniel's strappy silver sandal with kid leather uppers, crystal beadwork and 8cm heels, which sells for HK$130 FOB Hong Kong a pair. "Higher 8-9cm solid wedge heels are the newest trend," Li adds, noting open-toed styles are also gaining in favour.

Minimum order is 12 pairs, with delivery a minimum of two weeks after order confirmation to a variety of export markets ranging from the mainland, Taiwan and Macau to Australia, South Korea, Canada, Russia and Japan.

Both daytime and evening wear high-heels are strong sellers at Solidfirm ( Asia) Int'l Ltd, which is known for its fashionable styles and competitive prices.

"Daytime styles cost HK$70-80 FOB Hong Kong per pair, are usually brown, blue and black and have more ornamentation, while evening shoes sell for HK$90-110 per pair and feature synthetic suede and microfibre decorated with rhinestones and crystals," explains sales and marketing officer Sonia Chan.

One sales favourite has been a sling-back, open-toed sandal with PU uppers, diamante ornamentation, a 5cm heel and PVC outsoles. "They're simple and comfortable," adds Chan, noting the shoes sell for HK$58 FOB Hong Kong per pair.

The 13-year-old OEM/ODM firm produces 7,000 pairs of women's fashion shoes per month, 60% of which are high heels, using leather, PVC, PU, canvas and synthetic materials.

Chan says customer demand has prompted Solidfirm to consider switching to more natural materials. "We're doing samples and hopefully by the end of the year we'll have a decision," she adds.

Solidfirm requires minimum orders of 1,000 pairs that are delivered four weeks after order confirmation to major markets such as Europe, South Africa and North America.

High heels to wear at the office have been a Gentop HK Ltd specialty since the company was founded in 1998, and today comprise about 40% of the 400,000 pairs of shoes the company produces each month.

Gentop offers more than 1,000 styles, with wedge-shaped or stiletto heels in 7.5-10 cm heights the models currently most in demand in the company's major market, the US.

The OEM/ODM firm has two designers on the mainland who create its Western-style collections featuring leather (US$12-13 FOB Hong Kong per pair) sourced from India and Bangladesh or PU uppers (US$7-9 per pair) from Taiwan and Korea.

Cotton and nylon mesh are also available, says manager Raymond Lau. "We mainly do PU uppers," he notes, adding that outsoles can be ordered in bonded leather, genuine leather, PU or PVC.

One top-selling model has been the US$7 crochet slide with PU uppers topped with a bow and featuring 7.5 cm heels. "People like sandal styles because they want something cool on their feet," Lau maintains.

Gentop's eight-floor, 1,300-worker factory on the mainland delivers minimum orders of 800 pairs per colour or 1,600 pairs per order 60 days after order confirmation.

Taking a more decorative approach is Sunbo (HK) Ltd, whose products appear under the Angie Girl, Fila, Arena, Diadora, Skechers, Barbie and United Colors of Benetton brands.

Metal studs and buckles are adding more decorative flair to casual and dressy high heels, according to Sunbo chairman Angela Chan. "We tend to concentrate on daytime high heels, although we also do dressy high heels for the evening," she explains.

"The daytime models are usually closed pumps in more conservative colours, while the evening shoes have pointier toes and higher, skinnier heels, and there's more satin and sequins."

Sunbo has an inventory of about 100 daytime high-heel styles and some 30 designs for evening wear, which are made of leather, PU, satin, canvas and nylon and sell for US$4-10 FOB Hong Kong per pair.

One daytime model that has sold well is a US$6 black pump with a turquoise-coloured stitched heart on synthetic suede uppers, rubber outsole and a 6cm heel.

The nine-year-old firm's 5,000-square-metre, 250-worker factory manufactures 50,000-80,000 pairs of men's, women's and children's shoes and sandals per month.

High heels represent about 10% of production at Sunbo, which delivers minimum orders of 1,200 pairs per style 60 days after order confirmation to Europe and the US.

Always in style and in demand, high heels are the epitome of well-dressed sophistication and Hong Kong companies are definitely staying in step with these tip-top footwear classics.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA

CONTACT DETAILS

Gentop HK Ltd
Rm 612, Tai Shing Bldg
273-279 Un Chau St
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2387-4096
Fax: 852-2785-1550
Email:
gentophk@netvigator.com
Web: www.gentophk.com

Generation Daniel Self Made
Unit 801
Causeway Bay Centre
15-23 Sugar St
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2882-9589
Fax: 852-2882-2617
Email:
generation807@yahoo.com.hk
Web: www.generation-company.com

IDA Shoes Mfy Ltd
Rm 1806
Fo Tan Ind Centre
26-28 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2772-3407
Fax: 852-2348-6755
Email:
prime@shoes.corp.com.hk

Melody Shoes Shop
Rm G3A, G/F
Golden Plaza
745-747 Nathan Rd
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2392-8863
Fax: 852-2398-7756
Email:
annieok@netvigator.com

Solidfirm (Asia) Int'l Ltd
Unit 307
Primoknit Ind Bldg
7-9 Kung Yip St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2427-1860
Fax: 852-2427-1863
Email:
info@solidfirm.com
Web: www.solidfirm.com

Sunbo (HK) Ltd
Units 5-7, 22/F
China Merchants Steam Navigation Bldg
152-155 Connaught Rd Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2369-7283
Fax: 852-2369-9406
Email:
sunbo@sunbo-hk.com