15 Sept 2005
Optical Cases(HKTDC Optical,2006)
|The Boutique Collection from Astucci Int'l Ltd features hard spectacles cases with handles in pretty hues such as fuchsia and pastel green|
Confirming this is 1996-established Astucci Int'l Ltd, a highly experienced and renowned manufacturer of spectacles cases. "We are very strong at the design stage and also at sourcing good materials," says sales executive Chris Yeung. "In terms of optical goods, we see Hong Kong as a regional centre for fashions, new products and new materials."
According to Yeung, the firm's R&D department is quick to identify new trends. "It is essential to please existing clients and attract new ones, so we must always be at the top of our game," he says.
Demand is also broad. "Buyers from the developed world are cosmopolitan and demand colourful styles and high-quality materials. They absorb the higher costs as they believe they need better goods to provide new opportunities and build a bigger market share."
However, buyers from Southeast Asia generally opt for standard materials and plainer designs. "They are more concerned about prices," he adds.
Astucci makes a wide variety of cases in two categories: those suitable for cosmetic frames and others designed for prescription eyeglasses. "Our range of hard cases use a variety of metals, PU, synthetic and/or real leather, aluminium, plastic and wood," says Yeung. "We also have stitched, soft pouches with zippers."
Major export markets are the US, Europe and Japan, while Astucci is also developing new markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. "We also manufacture for some big brand-name companies, from whom we hold licences," Yeung says. "This is why we are so well-known in the market, especially in the US."
Astucci's plants are on the Chinese mainland, and minimum order size is 3,000 optical cases for production items or 100 optical cases ex-stock. Delivery is 45 days after order confirmation, depending on the item.
Another highly active firm is 1987-established Kong Lung Mfy Ltd, which exports medium- to high-end spectacles cases across the world. "We have plastic, metal, aluminium and soft pouch spectacles cases," says general manager Connie Wong. "We have models for men and women, and aluminium designs are most popular at present."
She says the firm is always trying to create new, fashionable items. "We have our own designers who work closely with our marketing people, as it is essential to keep in touch with the latest fashions. We are also competitive, and our prices are based on the intricacy of the case design and the materials used."
Wong says that buyers of titanium frames usually ask for aluminium cases sprayed in the same colour as the frames. "If multicolour effects are required, we will use a colour spray and water transfer system to combine different finishes," she explains.
Injection moulded plastic cases, finished with PP or PVC, are available for minimum orders of 5,000 pieces for delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Production takes place at a 1,300-worker, 15,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the mainland.
Meanwhile, 1985-established Mida Optiproducts Mfg Ltd is a specialist manufacturer of optical cases.
"Our wooden cases are selling well," says marketing assistant Joe Cheung. "These are usually handmade, with a quality finish using PVC or PU leatherette," he says. "We also use aluminium and other metals."
The wooden cases are larger than their metal counterparts, making them highly suitable for large frames used in sunglasses, he claims.
Production takes place at a 1,700-square-metre factory in Guangzhou on the mainland. Minimum orders are 5,000 pieces per style for metal cases, and 1,000 pieces per style for wooden cases. Delivery is 60 days after order confirmation.
Veteran manufacturer Tai Shing Mfy Ltd is also offering a broad range of optical cases. "We started out about 35 years ago with simple cases and have since evolved with the industry to make complex, boutique-style models," explains marketing manager Andy Lam.
"While most of our cases are plastic, we also have metal models using steel or aluminium. We cover some of these with genuine leather and others with PU imitation leather. We also produce transparent cases and cloth pouches," he says.
New shapes are available, as well as cases featuring combinations of different materials. "Previously, cases would be made of a single material," says Lam. "Today, to make a unique, fashionable design, we will use any combination of plastic and metal. The general design may be minimalist, but we focus on distinctive detailing on the outer case. Otherwise we make according to the customer's specifications."
Production takes place at a 100,000-square-metre, 800-worker factory in Shenzhen. Minimum order is 1,200 cases per style and delivery time is 35-40 days.
Demonstrating that whether the need is for something spectacular or just a plain-Jane pleaser, Hong Kong is always on the case.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Join In Hang Sing Centre
2-16 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Natpak Optical Ltd
Rms 2 & 4, 9/F, Blk A
Goodview Ind Bldg
11 Kin Fat St
Tuen Mun, New Territories
Tai Shing Mfy
Fook Cheong Bldg
63 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
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