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Clear Sighted(HKTDC Optical,2009)

 

Rimless Frames

Photo
Handmade rimless frames in simple, sleek and slim designs featuring temples with thick rubber for extra comfort are hot-selling items at AZU Concept Ltd

The streamlined look that features minimal designs based on form and function is becoming increasingly popular the world over

Dispensing with large, chunky and often multicoloured frames works wonders for many faces and fashions, diverting attention to the wearer's face and clothes.

Rimless frames can also offer a professional no-nonsense appearance, but Hong Kong manufacturers have found many ways to appeal to a wider spectrum of the male and female markets.

One such company is AZU Concept Ltd, whose Marketing Manager Wallace Chan has firm opinions about eyewear design. "Today's optical market is overwhelmed by complicated designs and we aim to change this by offering simple, original designs that are achieved through new applications, materials and effects," he explains.

All AZU's products are created by experienced designers and appeal to the fashion-conscious by using temples made of silicone rubber, which also offers extra comfort. "Tone-on-tone or double-layering colour creates visual interest," Mr Chan adds.

All frames are "100% handmade" in Hong Kong. "This is highly unusual and gives us an edge over other companies," claims Mr Chan.

Sleek and slim, AZU's latest offerings include rimless and half-rim versions that provide the comfort of simplicity that the company believes appeals to spectacles wearers of all ages. "We will launch a new collection consisting of more colours and material combinations later this year to keep up with increasing demand from overseas markets."

Also keeping up with heavy demand is Sunta Optical Co Ltd, which offers a wide range of optical frames made from pure or beta titanium, stainless steel and Monel. "Each market has its preference for shapes and colours, and we can cut different-shaped lenses to fit each requirement," says Executive May Ling.

Current offerings include rimless stainless steel models with springs and temple designs, and a beta titanium rimless range that boasts temples studded with imitation stones.

Prices vary according to the quantity ordered and material type, with beta titanium frames starting at US$12 FOB Hong Kong and stainless steel prices ranging from US$5-10. "A minimum order of 400 pieces takes around 75-90 days after confirmation," Ms Ling says, adding that the most popular trends this year are rimless frames with spring hinges and those with temples adorned by imitation stones.

Top technolgy

Trends such as these may come and go, but modern technology must keep always keep pace and no one knows this better than Wah Ming Optical Mfy Ltd Managing Director Douglas Cheung.

His firm has replaced the traditional, time-consuming process of product design with a cutting-edge 3D design tool which can generate a virtual digital mock-up that allows design changes to be made quickly and efficiently.

"This process is mostly applied to plastic and injection frames, eliminating a lot of guesswork and providing a clearer understanding of what the finished product will look like," Mr Cheung says. "It also speeds up the development process, which in turn enables us to offer highly competitive prices."

Nowhere is this design element more evident than in Wah Ming's model 12472YH, which features elegant brown horn temples that would complement any fashion look.

Feminine focus

Lightweight and non-screw hinge rimless frames are currently in focus at Eagle Int'l (Industrial) Ltd, which sees an increasing demand for these products from the European markets that are its main export target. "Rimless frames with engraving and patterns continue to be popular for ladies," adds General Manager Tony Wong.

Frames adorned with acetate to appear stone-like are also big sellers, as is metal model 15192, which features a temple crafted from shimmering Swarovski crystal.

"Our unisex model 15129 with a top-bar style is unique as it is crafted from one piece of stainless steel and offers smoothness, strength and flexibility," Mr Wong maintains.

"We are proud that our men's model 15129 with the double function flex-hinge remains the only model nominated from Asia for a design award offered by Silmo in 2001, 2005 and 2006."

Super sizes

Fortuna Optical Fty Ltd is another Hong Kong company concentrating on the European and US markets with rimless frames. "We can supply any size order - even a small quantity - and all frames can be fitted with demonstration lenses printed with the customer's logo," General Manager Martin Chao advises. "They can also be ordered with or without flex hinges, depending on the customer's requirements."

Clear-sighted buyers will see that Hong Kong certainly has no shortage of cool designs at competitive prices - especially in the rimless frames sector where new technologies make development processes even more efficient and inspired designers meet the demands of markets worldwide.

TEXT BY MARTINE BEALE

FAST FACT

AZU Concept Ltd
Rm 2518
Well Fung Ind Centre
68 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2782-0017
Fax: 852-2782-1055
Email:
keithk@azuoo.com
Web: www.azuoo.com
Year Established: 1995
Major Product Categories: optical products
Own Brands & Certificates: Azuoo
Minimum Order: 200 pieces per style
Monthly Production: 10,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 60-75 days
Factory Size & Location: Heng Gang
Workforce: 100
   
Eagle Int'l (Industrial) Ltd
Rms 3309-11
New Trend Centre
104 King Fuk St
San Po Kong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2352-1633
Fax: 852-2327-1623
Email:
marketing@eagle-int.com.hk
Web: www.eagle-int.com.hk
Year Established: 1996
Major Product Categories: metal and plastic optical and sunglasses
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 300 pieces per model
Monthly Production: 180,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 90 days after the materials are ready
Factory Size & Location: 100,000 square metres
Workforce: 1,400
   
Fortuna Optical Fty Ltd
Unit 5, 23/F
HK Worsted Mills Ind Bldg
31-39 Wo Tong Tsui St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2423-0872
Fax: 852-2480-5166
Email:
martin@fortunaopti.com
Web: www.fortunaopti.com
Year Established: 1980
Major Product Categories: metal/plastic frames, sunglasses, injection frames, hand made acetate frames
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 500 pieces per model and colour
Monthly Production: 90,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 90 days
Factory Size & Location: 15,000 square feet
Workforce: -
   
Omyl Optical Mfy Ltd
Unit B2, 9/F
Galaxy Fty Bldg
San Po Kong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2343-9143
Fax: 852-8148-0207
Email:
info@omyl.com.hk
Year Established: 1975
Major Product Categories: spectacles frames
Own Brands & Certificates: Simy, Omyl
Minimum Order: 1,000 pieces
Monthly Production: 20,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 3 months
Factory Size & Location: 10,000 square feet; Dongguan
Workforce: 100
   
Sunta Optical Co Ltd
Flat A, 19/F
Tung Lee Commercial Bldg
91-97 Jervois St
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2581-9701
Fax: 852-2581-9700
Email:
sunta@sunta.com.hk
Year Established: 1991
Major Product Categories: all kinds of optical frames
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 400 pieces per model
Monthly Production: 50,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 75-90 days
Factory Size & Location: Guangzhou
Workforce: 200
   

Wah Ming Optical Mfy Ltd
3/F
Kapok Ind Bldg
373 Tok Kwa Wan Rd
Tok Wa Wan, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2364-8207
Fax: 852-2765-7548
Email:
alison_cheng@wahming.com
Web: www.wahming.com

Year Established: 1968
Major Product Categories: titanium, metal, acetate and injection optical frames
Own Brands & Certificates: ISO 9001, Hong Kong Q Mark
Minimum Order: 800 pieces per colour
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: 90 days
Factory Size & Location: Shenzhen
Workforce
: 3,000