6 July 2007
Style Statements(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 03,2007)
Leather Bags & Wallets
|Sun Lai Leather Fty Ltd's leather handbags come in a variety of attractive designs that sell well in Europe and Japan|
The Irresistible attraction of fine leather translates into steady sales of essential everyday items such as bags and wallets
Stylish individuals the world over invariably demand attractive leather bags and wallets for safe storage and easy transport of their money, documents and other valuables.
Aiming to satisfy their constant requests, Hong Kong-based companies such as Kuang Ming Leather Goods Mfg (Holdings) Ltd produce a steady stream of irresistible items.
Kuang Ming manufactures an array of leather and PVC items, including hard cases and soft bags, organisers, folders and smaller items, utilising a strategy that combines high quality, attractive prices and large production capacity.
"We have 20 years of experience, and our prices stay medium- to low-end," observes director Karson Lo. "We have a lot of machines and a high production capacity, so we're interested in volume orders."
The company relies on a knowledgeable purchasing team to acquire large volumes of raw materials, such as cow-split leather, top-grain leather, PU, PVC and bonded leather.
Established in 1987, Kuang Ming has 1,000 workers at its ISO 9001-certified factory in Jiangmen on the Chinese mainland. "Our products sell all over the world, especially North America and Europe," Lo says, adding that leading markets include Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, the US, Korea, Italy, India, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Typical of the company's products is model 1099R, a custom cowhide portfolio case with a front lock and a special "very soft" handle. "There's also a zip pocket," Lo adds.
Other popular Kuang Ming models include AL-4912, a split-leather pilot case that offers ample compartments, a front lock and side pocket, and model 3750 and 3315PF portfolio cases that combine split leather with nylon. "These have a very modern style to meet market demands and are strong sellers in Europe," Lo claims.
Clients may provide their own designs or request variations on Kuang Ming's product range. "We welcome OEM orders," Lo says, noting that a minimum order is 1,000 pieces delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Taking a similar quality-oriented approach is Sun Lai Leather Fty Ltd, a maker of mid- to high-end handbags and other items that aspires to create products seen as "fashion symbols" in leading markets such as Italy, the UK, France, Spain and Japan.
"We focus on Europe," reveals export sales manager Mony Yik. "The shapes and styles preferred in the US are a little different, so about 80% of our customers come from Europe."
Sun Lai welcomes customers' designs and regularly introduces new collections such as SL202353(S), a "daily bag" in cowhide with croco-leather trim, SL202353 (SS), a smaller version in pony leather with patent-leather trim, and SL205335 in cow nappa leather.
More than 300 workers at Sun Lai's factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland produce more than 30,000 pieces a month using leather, PU, PVC and nylon that comes mainly from the mainland, Thailand and Taiwan.
"Our tremendous flexibility is a big advantage," Yik claims. "We can respond to first orders or special requests by making our minimum order quantities negotiable, and guarantee high quality, prompt delivery and competitive prices."
Twenty-three-year-old Lico Leather Goods Mfg Co Ltd fashions many leather items, including wallets and stationery sets, and actively pursues private-label and corporate-gift work.
"Regardless of what leather goods our clients may dream about, we'll do our best to make their wishes come true," insists senior merchandiser Eva Cheung. "We can tailor-make to their design sketches, and they can select from our wide range of leathers and PVC."
The leather comes from India, Korea, Italy, Brazil and the Chinese mainland and is fashioned into the men's, women's and travel wallets that penetrate markets like the US, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan and Australia.
"It's important to find the right sizes to hold driving licences and ID cards for each country," Cheung notes. "For example, wallets in Germany need to be slightly larger."
Lico's products are manufactured at a 350-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. "Some employees have worked at our factory for more than 15 years," says Cheung. "They're experienced and skilful."
A classic example from Lico's catalogue is model L0351, a basic men's wallet for banknotes and credit cards that comes in genuine leather. It costs approximately US$5 FOB Hong Kong per piece for minimum orders of 1,000 pieces per style and colour delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
The 13-year-old company's model L0975 ladies' wallet has soft-touch leather with embroidery, features an internal coin purse, and is unit-priced at about US$6 FOB Hong Kong.
Travel wallet model L0960 also features soft-touch leather and embroidery. "The inside holds cheques and boarding passes," Cheung explains. "This model has a credit-card compartment, zip pouch, pen loop and window for photos or an ID card."
Considering the wide variety and high quality available, it's little wonder that overseas retailers and consumers are clamouring for leather bags and wallets made in Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY JOHN CAIRNS
Evergreen Handbags Fty
Units 8-10, 42/F, Tower 2, Metroplaza
223 Hing Fong Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
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, Hong Kong