16 Jan 2006
Men's Leather Goods(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 01,2006)
Kuang Ming Leather Goods Mfg (Holdings) Ltd's cow split leather attache case (back) and pilot's case are its best-selling products
Spurred by increasing global demand, a number of Hong Kong-based companies are producing an ever-expanding range of quality leather products, including golf accessories, wallets, briefcases and travel bags.
One such example is a leather pilot's case produced by Kuang Ming Leather Goods Mfg (Holdings) Ltd, which manufactures at an 800-worker factory in Jiangmen on the Chinese mainland.
Kuang Ming specialises in cow split leather, which offers significant savings over full grain leather, but also uses PU and PVC in its briefcases, attache cases, wallets and other small leather goods. "We source our leather from a number of countries," explains director Karson Lo, "though India, Brazil and the mainland are our major suppliers."
As a result, the 16-year-old company is able to offer a variety of finishes to its many satisfied clients worldwide, he claims. "We supply a number of major customers in Europe, particularly Germany and the UK, as well as the US and Canada," he says, quoting such leading names as Marks & Spencer. "Our best-selling products are the pilot's case and a cow split leather briefcase."
ISO 9001-certified Kuang Ming, which can produce 80,000 items a month, demands a minimum order of 500 pieces delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Similarly prolific is Fortune Handbag Mfg Ltd, which can manufacture 200,000 products a month at its 50,000-square-foot, 600-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland.
These include the premium pad-folios and briefcases that are Fortune's most popular products, as well as wallets, leather organisers, ladies' fashion bags, computer bags, backpacks, travel bags and Bible covers.
Manager Sally Yeung says the 28-year-old company uses a variety of materials, including leather, PVC, PU, nylon, polyester, canvas and velvet from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. "We pride ourselves on providing high quality workmanship, competitive prices and punctual deliveries," she claims.
Many of Fortune's products carry the Leeds, Gola and Elle brand names and are available in minimum order quantities of 1,000 pieces delivered 30-50 days after order confirmation.
"The Shenzhen facility is equipped with a variety of machines that can deal with sewing, leather scraping and embossing, according to customers' requirements," adds Yeung. "Our most successful markets are Japan, Germany and the UK, though we also export to the US, Korea and Taiwan."
Preferring to specialise in small leather items, Jun Yip Int'l Ltd manufactures wallets, handbags, cellphone covers and even an iPod case at its four-floor, 1,000-worker facility in Dongguan on the southern mainland.
Director Alex Wong says the company has manufactured and exported its products for 17 years and claims the hi-tech production plant in Dongguan enables Jun Yip to offer the highest quality products at extremely competitive prices.
"We use leather from Korea and the mainland and PVC sourced from the mainland in our products," he explains. "We also have our own design team, which can provide professional expertise to our clients."
Wong says Jun Yip's products are "highly acclaimed" by its clients in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe, who snap up 2,000-5,000 items per style minimum orders for delivery 30 days after order confirmation.
"In the near future we would like to expand our cellphone case sales by using the Internet for transactions," he reveals, adding that Jun Yip's products will continue to be both "trendy and high-quality" to suit customers' needs.
Playing a completely different game is Billy Golf Ltd, whose 2,700-square-metre, 200-worker factory in Shenzhen produces such items as cow leather pouch putter sets, simulated golf training sets, golf gift sets in cow leather, premium narrow flasks in leather pouches and premium cylindrical flasks in leather pouches that also come with a funnel.
"Our most successful product is probably our simulated golf training set, which consists of a two-metre plastic putting green with simulated bunkers and wooden hole and comes in a leather pouch," sales executive Pinky Wong comments.
The simulated golf training set is available in minimum order quantities of 1,000 items at an FOB Hong Kong price of approximately US$6.30 per set.
"We also produce a wide range of OEM golf accessories and gift sets," she adds, explaining that golf sets can be tailor-made to client specifications if necessary.
Wong believes Billy Golf, which has its own Billy Golf brand and exports to the US, Germany, the UK, Canada and Asia, is definitely on the upswing. "There is a huge demand these days as golf is becoming more and more popular worldwide," she adds.
Hong Kong manufacturers are clearly enjoying strong demand for men's leather goods and this is expected to continue in the foreseeable future as leather has an irresistibly masculine allure that appeals to guys of all ages.
WRITTEN BY JEFF HESELWOOD
Fortune Handbag Mfg Ltd
Units I, L & K, 20/F, Phase 2
Superluck Ind Centre
57 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Kuang Ming Leather Goods Mfg (Holdings) Ltd
Rm 12, 8/F, Blk A
Veristrong Ind Centre
34-36 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories