The recent Fashion Access, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, October 4-6, attracted quality buyers worldwide and exhibitors were reported as being satisfied with great business opportunities. The exhibition welcomed a total of 6,495 buyers from 68 countries and regions. Most came from the Asia Pacific region, accounting for 29.6% of the total buyers (figures excluding Hong Kong). Europe and North America continued to supply the second and third most buyers respectively. There was significant growth in the number of buyers from Spain (38.5%), India (37.5%), Japan (6.5%), and the Philippines (14.8%). There were over 100 buyers from South America.

Many of the buyers looking to place orders attended for more than one day. Dita Lemonova, buyer of leather handbags for Elega, based in the Czech Republic, has been visiting Fashion Access regularly to source handbags. She had little time to spare for giving interviews during the first day but confirmed that she was very satisfied with this fair as she had met new suppliers and had already placed an order for US$120,000.

Murat Kilic, of Missimo Bags, visited Fashion Access for the second time to source shoes and bags that his company distributes all over Europe. He was very satisfied to have met with three new suppliers on the first day and had already placed orders to the value of US$100,000.

Ricardo Vicedo, a buyer for Grupo Vertoice of Alicante Spain, explained this was his first visit to Fashion Access and that he was pleased with the wide range of products he saw. He placed many orders and said he would certainly come again.

Exhibitors too were extremely satisfied with the outcome. Ms Donatella Davy defined the fashion bags under the brand Coloris as ‘French design at low price’ and collections designed with a ‘Boutique style’. The company chose to exhibit in Fashion Avenue as they aim at meeting department stores and chain stores buyers or independent retailers with around 50 high end fashion boutiques having their own lines of products. The results of Coloris’ participation this season surpassed Ms Davy’s expectations. ‘We made even more new contacts than last March and with ‘quality buyers’. I mean serious buyers who know exactly what they are looking for as they create their own collections. They came from all over the world: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Greece, Canada, USA. Although we are based in France and are not aiming at European buyers, we are very happy to have made a very good contact with a buyer from Germany.’

Eva Chow, a young shoe designer from Design Factory, exhibited in Fashion Access for the first time in March. The results were so good that she showed again this time, with even better results. Running what was virtually a one-woman business gave her little time for marketing. Fashion Access helped her greatly on that issue and allowed her more time to design shoes and even bags. Recently she set up a workshop in Guangdong to make prototypes of shoes, which she then takes to several factories to manufacture.

One of the Top Style Hall exhibitors, LUPO, found its leading edge. Export manager José Ballester said, ‘Like many other European manufacturers, we are trying to get into China. We believe that Fashion Access is one of the best ways to do this.’ This was the fourth time his company had exhibited at Fashion Access. He said he had some definite orders from the fair and that many buyers had found their products of an extremely fine quality and reasonable prices.

Fashion Access will continue to expand this win-win format bringing more sophisticated apparel, original designs and latest trend directions to the fair. The next Fashion Access will be held from March 28-30, 2007.

Buyers Breakdown at Fashion Access October 2006: Hong Kong based companies 49.5%; Asia Pacific (excluding Hong Kong) 29.6%; Europe 13%; America 6.9%; Africa 0.3%; Middle East 0.5%; Others 0.1%.

Top ten visiting countries and regions (excluding Hong Kong): Mainland China based companies 700; Japan 460; USA 270; Taiwan 174; Australia 149; Spain 133; Italy 124; Malaysia 80; France 78; United Kingdom 74

Note: The Figures shown above are examined by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.