11 July 2005
Small Leather Goods(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 03,2005)
Best Of Both Worlds
Hong Kong manufacturers are adept at both, keeping their fingers on the pulse of upcoming fashion trends, but they also have the quality and experience to cater to the more conventional market as well.
For example, bright colour is the major selling point of the small leather goods produced by C-Corp (HK) Co Ltd under the Soda Pop brand.
"The name stands for the bright, young, fashionable mood of the collection," explains director Matthew Chow. "Teal, violet and magenta are popular right now, while fuchsia is always in style."
A variety of purposes, including coin holders, currency wallets, double-zip wallets, long wallets and small clutch bags, come in soft cow leather sourced from the US.
"However, to bring prices down, we can offer pig skin leather, or if customers want something more upmarket we can offer Italian leather," Chow says.
C-Corp manufactures at a 250-worker, 4,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the southern Chinese mainland and ships worldwide, but major markets are the UK, the US and Japan.
FOB Hong Kong prices for the cow leather pieces generally range from US$2.50-6.00 per piece, with small clutches costing around US$8.80. "Our minimum order - 120 pieces per style per colour - is quite low, and we target medium-size boutiques and importers," Chow adds, noting that delivery is 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Evergreen Handbags Fty is one company straddling both sectors, producing both bright colours and more traditional styles. "We find that markets such as Japan demand fashion colours, whereas Europeans tend to prefer traditional black and brown," observes marketing executive Eric Yu.
He claims Evergreen's major selling point is its quality, which comes from almost 30 years' experience gained following the company's founding in 1976.
"We concentrate on producing what our customers require," Yu says, adding they are generally located in Europe - especially Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain and Portugal - Japan and South America. "We have a few customers in the US and we're seeking to increase this market, mainly by attending trade shows to get our name known."
Evergreen sources leather from all over the world - including India, Brazil and the Chinese mainland. "We use mostly cow leather for the small goods," he adds.
Wallets, key cases and coin purses are the most popular items, with the wallets priced from US$2-7 FOB Hong Kong each and the cases and purses US$1.50-3.00.
"Our standard minimum order value is US$5,000, but we can do less on negotiation," Yu reveals, emphasising that Evergreen's 600-worker mainland factory is ISO 9001-certified.
Progressive Leatherware Ltd also differentiates between the market for bright colours and that for more subdued designs. "Women like fashion colours - right now pink, green and light blue are in demand," says director Christian Ng.
She adds that the company can mix a wide variety of colours to meet customers' needs. "But we also produce traditional black and brown styles, which appeal more to men," Ng adds. "These use a lot of nappa leather, which is very hard-wearing."
Progressive sources its leather from all over the world, but works closely with "quality" tanneries in Brazil, Italy and Bangladesh in particular.
Its collection includes men's and women's wallets, money clips and luggage tags, as well as penholders, coin purses, lipstick cases, mirror holders and key holders.
They are produced at Progressive's mainland factory in Dongguan, which is staffed by around 300 workers who produce 50,000-70,000 pieces a month, depending on the time of year, says Ng.
"They bear our own Unique brand, and our customers are mainly importers in UK, Canada and Australia, plus some in the US," Ng adds, explaining that FOB Hong Kong prices are available on request and delivery is 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Brands are also important for Fung Tat Leather Fty Ltd, which markets leather goods that carry its own Tosca label. "This name is strong in Europe and is known for good quality," claims sales manager Elton Yeung.
Fung Tat offers a broad range of small leather goods, including a variety of wallets, along with purses, holders, passport and chequebook covers, and even golf accessories such as tee holders and ball cases.
"We have a history of more than 20 years in the leather business, and have our own 5,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified factory in Dongguan on the mainland that produces 80,000-100,000 pieces a month," Yeung notes.
Customers can order a minimum of 300-500 pieces per style per item, at FOB Hong Kong prices available on request, for delivery 35-60 days after order confirmation, depending on quantity. "The leather we use mainly comes from Italy and India, with some from the mainland," Yeung adds.
So whether buyers want bright or sober small leather goods, they know they can rest assured that Hong Kong manufacturers never compromise on quality or price.
WRITTEN BY ANN WILLIAMS
Beauty Art Industrial Ltd
Evergreen Handbags Fty
Fung Tat Leather Fty Ltd
Progressive Leatherware Ltd