4 Oct 2006
Printed Fashion Bags(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2006)
|Acompany (Asia Pacific) Ltd's latest ladies' handbags feature fresh floral prints and stylish shoulders straps that evoke a cheerful spring feel|
While different markets often show a tendency towards different trends, printed fashion bags are a product that seemingly unites the world.
All over the globe, true fashionistas wouldn't be seen without a bright and colourful printed fashion bag, many of which are produced by Hong Kong manufacturers.
These same manufacturers, however, note that there is either no overall trend emerging or else there is a consistency to printed fashion bag styles that is crossing borders.
For example, Acompany (Asia Pacific) Ltd chairman and CEO David Wyndham says that he is finding that "whereas in years gone by different markets had different trends, now trends are consistent and global.
"I believe that same principle applies to fashion generally," he adds. "Fashion generally guides how bags are designed, but sometimes an accessory can start a trend."
Twenty-year-old Acompany has certainly done its best to kick-start the sector by establishing a portfolio of brands, such as Suzy Smith and Cosmopolitan, that appear on its printed fashion bags.
The company's latest collection, featuring fresh floral prints and stylish shoulder straps, is bound to be popular in its major markets, namely the UK, Australia and Scandinavia.
Acompany is also expanding into new markets such as Russia, and has received a "couple of serious enquiries" from Singapore and the Chinese mainland.
"They are enquiring about our brands but we won't rush into these markets because we have to be careful who we deal with," Wyndham observes. "A model that we could apply is the Middle East, which we entered two years ago - it started slowly but now it is very successful."
Existing and new markets will be supplied by the company's 20,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the mainland, which employs some 1,000 workers who produce approximately 166,000 bags per month.
FOB Hong Kong or the mainland prices range from US$4-10 per piece per style, and minimum orders of 500 pieces per style can be delivered 60 days after order confirmation.
Minna Industrial Ltd sales coordinator Zephyr Yip agrees with Wyndham, noting that while there are small, distinct patterns in different markets, the general trend is far more global.
"Metallic-coloured bags in bronze, silver, gold and copper tones are proving to be popular," he observes. "PU handbags are the most popular with the British, although some also want real leather, and Americans have similar tastes."
Currently, Yip notes, Minna's most popular item is the white S1504 model, a PU handbag with a metallic frame that clips like a lock on either side. "However, trends change quickly because fashion depends on the season," he adds.
The 15-year-old company manufactures a full line of shoes, belts and handbags at a two-storey mainland factory in Guangzhou that employs more than 100 workers and produces 20,000 bags per month.
Minna's bags are sold in key markets such as Asia, Australia and Europe, which snap up 100-pieces-per-style minimum orders delivered two weeks after order confirmation. "FOB Hong Kong delivery is offered on orders of more than 1,000 pieces, with prices ranging from US$5-9 per item," Yip adds.
Taking a different view, Smart & Joy Production House Ltd director Gary Wan believes there are no discernible trends in the market and says it depends on fashion and the customer. "The market is not stable with no distinct colour patterns - neither summer nor winter colours," he claims.
Germany, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands and the US are the main markets for the 12-year-old company, which produces all kinds of bags, gifts and premiums products and other accessories.
It has two factories in Shantou and Xiamen, where it manufactures 100,000 pieces of its most popular product, the SJ-103 tarpaulin PVC messenger bag and 100,000 SJ-102 and SJ-203 PP woven shopping bags with or without photo print.
Smart & Joy requires a minimum order of 2,000 pieces for SJ-103 and 10,000 units of SJ-102 or SJ-203, and delivers 35-40 days after order confirmation for SJ-103 and 45-50 days for other models. "FOB Xiamen is available," Wan says.
Conversely, H.Y. Designs & Promotional Ltd manager Harris Yik sees distinct styles being popular in different markets. "The US market is more into Impressionist prints by famous artists like Van Gogh or Monet, while Europeans tend to be more creative and use their own designs," he states. "Bags with Impressionist prints are our best-selling product, in eye-catching colours rather than pale colours."
The 27-year-old company's 6,000-square-metre, four-storey factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland employs 450 workers who can produce 60,000 bags per month.
The minimum order size is 300 pieces, depending on the model, and delivery is 40-45 days after order confirmation, depending on the size of the order and whether it is a new design. "FOB Hong Kong is offered at US$2.85 per item for 2,000 pieces," Yik adds.
Obviously buyers wishing to keep abreast of the latest fashion trends would do well to visit Hong Kong and stock up on the printed fashion bags that are the latest in truly global gear.
WRITTEN BY SHARMILA GOPINATH
Standford Industrial Ltd
Unit 21, 3/F, Blk A
Proficient Ind Centre
6 Wang Kwun Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon