13 Oct 2005
Ladies' Leather Bags(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2005)
"Our factory on the Chinese mainland makes handbags for the UK fashion house Next as well as our own labels Per Gibo and Icom, which have become internationally known," claims Faithwise Leatherwares Ltd marketing executive Bruce Tang.
He explains that Faithwise has been manufacturing handbags, wallets, cosmetic bags and lipstick cases since 1986 and boasts a strategic design department that works on customers' ideas and designs as well as producing original concepts.
This extensive experience gives Faithwise a unique vantage point from which to observe fashion industry developments. "The trend in handbags for 2006 is for shiny leather, pale colours like sky blue and cream and metal trimmings," Tang predicts. "Handbags will also be smaller and neater with simple lines."
Faithwise uses materials such as leather, PVC, nylon and cotton sourced in Korea, Thailand, the US and the mainland in its ladies' leather bags, which are sold mainly in Asia and Europe.
"Our factory in Zhongshan on the mainland has four floors and more than 300 skilled workers," Tang explains, adding that a minimum order is 500 pieces in any one colour and style delivered within 45-60 days of order confirmation depending on the design. "Our FOB Hong Kong prices are very competitive, ranging from US$11-40 per bag," Tang adds.
Similarly committed to quality ladies' leather bags at a reasonable price is Clifford (HK) Co, which has been in business since 1995. "Our target is to create affordable, lovely and modern lifestyle products for customers who appreciate good design," explains manager Andy Lum.
Made mainly of Italian full-grain cowhide, Clifford's bags bear the company's own Bogg, Ro Ba and Flame brands and are exported to department stores in Europe, the US and Japan.
"The trend for 2006 is simple lines, and single-tone handbags with little trimming," Lum believes. "There will be a wide colour range, but black and brown will still be the classic colours, especially for winter."
Clifford's three factories in Guangzhou on the southern mainland cover a total of 200,000 square feet and employ 350 workers who produce a wide range of handbags, wallets, stationery items, travelling kits, organisers, purses, gifts and premiums.
"Our monthly production is 30,000 pieces and a minimum order is 200 handbags delivered 30-60 days after order confirmation," Lum confides, adding that FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$100-200 per item.
Equally competitive FOB Hong Kong prices are available from Splendid Handbag Ltd, which manufactures ladies' leather bags for many famous names including Enrico Coveri, Alain Delon, Fred Perry, Ralph Lauren and Lancome. "We make colourful bags in leather and other materials with canvas trimming," says R&D supervisor Rick Tse, "at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$4-8."
Splendid uses PVC, PU, nylon, polyester, patch leather, skiver, pigskin and cowhide in its bags, which are exported to Europe, North and Central America, Australia, Japan and South Africa.
A 20,000-square-metre factory in Guangzhou that employs 800 workers has a monthly production of 15,000 dozen bags, which are available in minimum order quantities of 600 pieces in any one colour and style, with delivery depending on the style.
"Soft handbags with little stiffening will be fashionable in the coming season, while colours will range from bright hues to dark brown and burgundy," Tse maintains.
Leading brands are also a prime focus for Massino Int'l Ltd, which is licensed to produce bags bearing the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, Arnold Palmer and Romeo Renato labels.
"The Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club brand is sold in 20 counters in department stores in Hong Kong and also in two free-standing shops in the territory," explains export manager Allan Lam. "We also export to many overseas countries, including the US, Japan and other parts of Asia."
Massino manufactures 20,000 bags a month at a 10,000-square-metre, 400-worker factory in Dongguan on the mainland, using cow nappa leather from Italy, Korea and Brazil, vegetable leather sourced in Italy and Pakistan and embossed leather obtained from Italy, Korea, Brazil, India and Pakistan.
Available at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$20-50 for minimum order quantities of 300 bags in any one style delivered 60 days after order confirmation, ladies' leather bags generate US$7m a year in sales for the 22-year-old company.
Lam predicts that bags in crocodile and snakeskin will be fashionable next year, together with innovative embroidered styles. "The embroidery on canvas is computer-controlled and handled in-house at our Dongguan factory," Lam adds.
Showing that when it comes to fine workmanship, good design and quality materials, ladies' leather bags from Hong Kong rank as status symbols par excellence.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Faithwise Leatherwares Ltd