27 Oct 2008
Pretty Pounches(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2008)
They may be small, but that hasn't stopped them becoming essential items in ladies' handbags
Cosmetics bags have come a long way since the days when they were merely functional accessories designed to hold lipsticks, powders, perfume and mirrors.
Today's cosmetics bags make bold fashion statements, and none more so than those produced by innovative Hong Kong companies such as Good Idea Products Ltd.
"I would use phrases like 'modern and trendy, yet simple' to describe our creations, of which materials and accessories play a vital role," says Director James Mak. "Materials that glitter and shine are always in vogue while matt plastic with a rich hand feel is the other end of the fashion spectrum."
He cites the company's latest sequined series that has won a "very good response" recently in Good Idea's major markets, the US and Europe.
"The cosmetics bags in this collection are available in various sizes, shapes and colours," Mr Mak advises. "They include a clean-cut clutch style with a tassel that completes an elegant look, while another soft-bag design with a drawstring fastening is very easy to fit in any handbag."
Producing gift-with-purchase cosmetics bags and promotional items for big cosmetics brand names and department stores, Good Idea works on OEM orders but often develops exclusive collections for customers on special projects.
"Our clients usually send us a sample of their newest products, and our creative team will think out of the box on cosmetics bags that match their themes, taking prime consideration of the corporate image of the featured brand," Mr Mak assures.
Good Idea often provides what its OEM customers want at the first attempt. "That is due to our extensive exposure and the market intelligence gained at local and overseas trade shows, which we attend annually," Mr Mak maintains.
Yiko Bags Mfg (HK) Ltd Director Dickey Chui also stresses the importance of keeping on track with the latest market trends.
"Though OEM is our major business, we still need to give customers the confidence that we are abreast of what is new in the business and have a good feel for the market," Mr Chui explains. "We design a few hundred new models a year that illustrate our awareness and capabilities."
One of Yiko's latest collections comprises 15 styles, ranging from small cosmetics bags that hold just two lipsticks to bigger designs that can be used as a small handbag.
"Trimmed from light, shiny PU with print-on motifs of stamps and highlighted with silver piping, this series not only looks very fashionable but is also very practical as it has many compartments inside," Mr Chui observes.
Manufacturing fashion and sports bags as well as cosmetics bags gives Yiko an added advantage, he says. "Not only can our bags share styling and manufacturing ideas, our factory is also well-equipped to work on complicated details," Mr Chui explains. "We are also capable of producing a complete collection comprising cosmetics bags and other bags under one roof."
He adds that Yiko's factory in Dongguan is also ISO 9001- and SA8000-certified. "This is very important as we work for many international brands in the US and Europe that require these compliances," Mr Chui notes.
Also exporting to the US is Yiu Sing Bags Industrial Co, which focuses on younger consumers with designs that revolve around colourful, feminine themes.
"Every 3-4 months our creative team will come out with six collections, each comprising mostly cosmetics bags and sometimes a set with some handbags," says Marketing Manager Danna Mui.
One of Yiu Sing's latest collections, inspired by fun-loving party girls, has drawn enthusiastic enquiries. "This collection is trimmed from white PVC with print-on silver dots and an evening dress motif," Ms Mui explains. "We have enhanced its sophistication with embroidery on the dress, as well as stitching the words 'party girl'."
Among the designs in the collection is an elegant cosmetics bag with a strap handle. "This cosmetics bag can be readily used as an evening bag with the addition of some dangling charms," Ms Mui explains.
"There are different patterns on both sides of the bag, one with an embroidered evening dress and the other with embroidered rose buds."
Yiu Sing's major market is the US, where the company works mostly with importers and wholesalers. "We seldom deal with retailers as our minimum quantity is 3,000 pieces per style," Ms Mui explains.
"That's because we are concentrating on the mass market and our unit price is not high - usually between US$1-2 FOB Hong Kong for a small pouch."
Yiu Sing is currently aspiring to expand its business into Europe. "We found some of our designs also appeal to the French market, so we will create more models that suit Continental tastes," Ms Mui concludes.
Clearly aware of the enduring affection that women have for cosmetics bags, Hong Kong companies are ensuring their pretty pouches always look their best in terms of both design and function.
TEXT BY WINNIE HUI