9 Oct 2007
Super Selection(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2007)
|Miu Sum Trading Co Ltd produces an enormous variety of bags of all shapes, sizes and kinds that reflect the latest international trends|
The cornucopia of bags in the Miu Sum Trading Co Ltd showroom clearly demonstrates that the firm's specialty is soft bags of all kinds, shapes and sizes.
"We are well-known for our variety," claims Merchandiser Jeann Ng, listing shoulder, tote, shopping and soft handbags for women as well as sports and waist bags, trolley backpacks, unisex trolley travel bags and soft briefcases for men.
She explains that the company began operations with basic sports bags in 1993, and has subsequently added more categories as well as expanding to more fashionable selections over the years.
Europe has remained its major market, however, with Japan, the US and South America now accounting for around 10% of the firm's total output.
"Sports bags still make up a big part of our production, and we are working for a number of well-known brands," Ms Ng declares. "These buyers mostly place OEM orders, but sometimes also incorporate some of our designers' ideas."
She adds that some of Miu Sum's importers that sell clothes and accessories provide the company with basic design sketches. "So our product development team takes a proactive role in interpreting their drawings and working out the prototypes," Ms Ng explains.
The Miu Sum design team creates four new collections a year - each consisting of 40-50 new styles - in order to satisfy clients, especially fashion handbag buyers who prefer more creative input from their suppliers.
Ms Ng says there are also times when customers want to make special promotional items such as one of the company's most successful creations - a padded polyester backpack designed to carry a laptop computer.
"Its compact design and durability ensured the bag was very well-received, and it has become one of our most popular items over the last eight years," she says.
Ms Ng points out that fashion trends change fast and Mui Sum's designers keep a sharp eye on the latest developments by constantly updating themselves via the Internet and trade magazines.
Their research is clearly evident in the latest offerings from Miu Sum, which include stylish cotton beige and light brown canvas knapsacks, nylon shoulder bags with printed patterns and parts overlaid with netting to offer an interesting visual effect, and chic, two-in-one shoulder bags.
"Multifunctional bags are in vogue as they are smart and practical," Ms Ng says, pointing to a two-in-one design that sees the tote bag opening attached to the shoulder bag base with a zipper. "The zipper allows them to be used separately, so in fact there are three ways of utilising a single purchase - as a tote, shoulder or one large bag."
Ms Ng believes that PVC, PU and nylon will continue to be hot for spring/summer 2008 in material resembling woven mats as well as modish prints.
"We employ a lot of silk-screen printing in our products, not only because it is trendy, but also because we are very good at it," Ms Ng says. "We do the process in-house and have very good control of both colour and quality."
Some of the stylish patterns that Miu Sum has developed for the coming season include unconventional polka dots, heart shapes and graphic floral motifs.
They will doubtless be warmly welcomed by Miu Sum's customers, of whom 70% are long-term buyers, according to Ms Ng. "Our price is competitive and we only require a minimum quantity of 1,000 pieces per style, which can include 2-3 colour choices," she explains. "But, of course it is our good quality that counts most."
Miu Sum's head office in Hong Kong handles sales, order placement and materials procurement, but the firm's 6,000-square-metre, 400-worker factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland is responsible for the company's monthly output of 180,000 items.
"We maintain very close supervision of our production line in order to monitor quality," Ms Ng insists. "Two executives also stay at the factory year-round to ensure everything runs smoothly."
The Miu Sum production team is also "very keen" on providing delivery within 30-60 days of order confirmation.
"We have a very well-established schedule that we follow faithfully," Ms Ng explains. "If we are really tight with our production and customers cannot accept our proposed delivery date, we would rather not take the order than ship late."
TEXT BY WINNIE HUI
Miu Sum Trading Co Ltd