Fashion Access Finishes Off Strong
The business of fashion remains strong, with top-notch design and quality being the most important elements to success. This was evident in the recently concluded Fashion Access fair held from March 27 to 29 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
524 contract manufacturers, fashion brands and designers from 22 countries and regions exhibited. Majority came from mainland China, Hong Kong and India, with 129 first time exhibitors from Bangladesh, mainland China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.
The fair drew a total of 11,829 buyers over its 3-day run. Positive increases in attendance came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Chile, Brazil, Spain and Russia.
Eric Van Bourgonie of Van Bourgonie-Crols Leather Goods in Belgium has attended Fashion Access 20 times. He pointed out that "this fair is good for seeing new trends, different types of materials and producers, especially from Asia, all in a single spot."
From Samsonite in India, Hardarshan S. Gandhi noted that "the product variety is excellent in this fair, which makes it distinctive and helps my business."
Milka Lilyan of Semilla, Taiwan stated his plan to return to Fashion Access every year: "The quality of items displayed becomes higher than previous years." From Brazil, Mr. Marcos of Donnabrasil Handbags added that "the items in Fashion Access are more fashionable than in other fairs."
As a fashion-forward fair, Fashion Access through the Turkish leathergoods association ITKIB, brought internationally-renowned Turkish designer Umit Unal to Hong Kong to unveil his exciting and ultra-urban fashion collections using leather and fur selected from leading Turkish tanneries.
India sent a strong contingent this year, with 61 exhibitors showcasing leather garments, bags, footwear and accessories. There was also a bigger participation from Japan with 28 companies.
In the design awards front, young designer Laszlo Beata Orsolya of Hungary was named overall winner of the Design A Bag Competition 2013 for her Metal bag. Her design was chosen as the best out of 153 entries from 23 countries. Her prize includes a one-month training class in bag-making at the Ars Sutoria School in Milan.
The Best of APLF Awards, celebrating its 10th year of its search for excellence in design, quality and innovation, gave recognition to 9 exhibitors for the outstanding products or collections. These include Vinaaste International of Singapore, Simpson-London of England and Guangzhou Top Beauty Arts & Crafts of China for their ladies, men's and fashion bag collections, respectively.
Michael Antonio Footwear Group of the USA copped the prize for Best Ladies' Footwear Collection while Madras Inc. of Japan took the Best Men's Footwear award.Other winners include Guangzhou Jitian Yaosi Leather for Best Lifestyle Collection, Aranaz of the Philippines for Best Fashion Accessories Collection, Fashion Folio of India for the Best Handcrafted Product Collection, and Kwansbag Industrial of Hong Kong for Best Marketing Concept.