Two APLF fairs, Materials, Manufacturing & Technology (MM&T) and Fashion Access opened (March 31st) in Hong Kong with innovation and newness driving an overall optimistic mood. Crowds of visitors took interest in the materials trends lounge and foot traffic was equally impressive throughout.
Designer Chelsea Normand from Australian brand Urban Originals, who attended the fairs to source components and materials for handbags and accessories, noted the wide range of quality products available. "It's only been the first day and I have already found five new supplying partners."
Exhibitors at the leather and materials-focused MM&T offered a wide range of innovations specific to product and market needs. France's Tanneries Pechdo, for example, showcased various high-tech leather finishes optimised for gloves and trims, including high-resistance or eco-friendly options. Nanai from Germany featured fashionable salmon skins aimed at the luxury market. "We are getting a very good response from buyers today," noted managing director Holger Hein, adding that the demand for exotic skins remains strong in the fashion industry.
Bright colours, embossed abstract patterns, ombre effects and supple yet durable finishes are among the other key trends dominating the fair grounds.
Meanwhile, Fashion Access, which focuses on finished leather goods, shoes and accessories, is upping the ante on its design offer. Of particular interest is the wide range of fashion footwear, including first time Brazilian exhibitor Via Uno.
While the organisers noted healthy pre-registration numbers and are expecting a successful turn-out over its 3-day events, APLF Director Michael Duck said: "What is most important is that our combined events stimulate business and innovation. Our fairs are attracting quality industry professionals and that is key."
New participants, Swarovski, debuted its innovative components brand Crystallized at both Fashion Access and MM&T. The company is also involved in APLF's Prime Source Forum - a networking event for leaders in the apparel and textiles industries - where Markus Lampe, Senior Vice President Marketing of the company - will deliver the forum's introductory address the morning of April 1st.
"We chose to partner with APLF because of the vertically-integrated set-up of its simultaneous events," explained Swarovski Hong Kong VP of Operations Georg Nussdorfer. "The fairs bring together industry players throughout the value chain and this is in line with the Swarovski business strategy."
APLF-organised MM&T, Fashion Access and Prime Source Forum take place concurrently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.