6 Sept 2006
Multicoloured Frames(HKTDC Optical,2007)
|New from Premier Optical Mfy Ltd is a series of distinctive multicoloured frames with temples designed with a geometric theme|
Ever in step with fashion trends, eyewear is turning on the colour, and this year's crop of multicoloured frames represents a major departure from the rimless spectacles of recent years. A renewed emphasis on colour, wider temple pieces and larger rims is making spectacle frames a new centre of attention.
Interest in multicoloured frames has risen sharply this year, especially in Europe, according to Winntics Optical Industry Co Ltd manager Cecilia Wong. "Red with white or black and blue with orange are popular combinations," she says, adding that 2-4 colours are typically featured in the company's multicoloured frames.
Established in 1976, Winntics is a medium-volume producer of handmade cellulose acetate frames. These models account for 60% of the 100,000 frames the company manufactures each month at its two factories in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. The firm also makes metal frames, injection-moulded frames and sunglasses.
At least 20-30 new multicoloured designs are added each month, some with novel patterns and designs added to the rim and temple piece.
"We're increasing production of our multicoloured frames," Wong says. "Everyone is buying them - even older people like them because they say these frames make them look younger."
With FOB Hong Kong unit prices ranging from US$6-8, the company's minimum order is 300 frames per model for delivery 90 days after order confirmation. Decorative extras, such as 10-20 rhinestones, cost an additional US$0.50-1.00 per frame.
The OEM/ODM firm exports to Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. About 20% of its frames carry either its own Chevron or Winntics brand names.
Offering a choice of multicoloured metal and handmade cellulose acetate frames, Premier Optical Mfy Ltd aims to cover all the bases.
"The trend to multicoloured metal frames in materials such as Monel, stainless steel and titanium began a few months ago, but we see it increasing," says Rilmond Wong, managing director of the six-year-old firm.
Multicoloured frames account for 20% of the 150,000 frames of all types that the ISO 9001-certified company manufactures each month at its factory in Shenzhen on the mainland. "The focus is more on colour and less on style," says Wong. "Colour is definitely adding a new element to frames."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for acetate frames range from US$5-7, while metal frames are available from US$6-8 and titanium frames from US$9-12.
"Our customers want 3-4 colours on the temple pieces and two on the rim," he says. Designs and patterns are created using both laser and etching techniques, while extra interest is added with see-through cut outs on the temple pieces.
The ODM firm expects a minimum order of 300 frames per model for delivery 60-90 days after order confirmation to markets in the US and Germany.
Meanwhile, a strong-selling concept at Hop Fat Machinery & Equipment Co is the use of brown or black as basic background colours with overlays of brighter hues.
Founded in 1996, Hop Fat produces 50,000 handmade cellulose acetate and injection-moulded frames per month at its factory in Dongguan on the mainland. Mostly OEM, the firm concentrates on unisex models and exports to Europe, Latin America, the US and Scandinavia.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for Hop Fat's multicoloured frames range from US$6-10, with models containing metal parts selling for US$8-10. The use of decorative Swarovski crystals costs an additional US$0.50-1.00 per crystal.
Minimum order requirements are 100 frames per model, 200 frames per colour and 800 frames per purchase for delivery 60 days after order confirmation for injection-moulded frames or 120 days for acetate.
Usually, the factory does not produce large quantities of the same model. "The maximum our customers ask for is about 400 frames," says manager Francisco Wong.
Hou Gine Optical Mfy Co, with major export markets in Asia, the US, the UK and South Africa, specialises in handmade cellulose acetate frames in men's, women's, unisex and children's models.
"Acetate is more durable and you can create more patterns on it," says sales manager (overseas) Fiona Yuen.
Raw materials are sourced from Italy and Hong Kong for processing at the company's factories in Hong Kong and the mainland that turn out some 25,000 frames per month.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for finished products are US$4-12 or more if Swarovski crystals are included.
"We usually use 6-7 colours per frame, while some customers want very sharp, bright colours and others want more understated tones," Yuen says.
Stripes, colourful squares and other patterns on temple pieces are catching on in Asian markets, particularly Japan. "Sometimes we also put metal plates onto the temples for more decoration," she adds.
Minimum order is 300 frames for delivery 60-120 days after order confirmation.
The 23-year-old firm is known for its fashionable styles that appeal to customers aged 13-40. "We try to follow fashion trends when we choose the colours for our frames," notes Yuen.
Multicoloured frames are a perfect example of the Hong Kong eyewear industry's ability to stay in focus and capitalise on the latest trends.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Hop Fat Machinery & Equipment Co
Rm L2, 19/F
Superluck Ind Bldg, Phase 1
53 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Premier Optical Mfy Ltd
Rm B13, 9/F, Blk B
Tonic Ind Centre
19 Lam Hing St
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon