HONG KONG, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fashion Access, the leading international fashion fair for bags, footwear, small leathergoods, fashion accessories, travelware and lifestyle products, enjoyed a strong turnout of buyers, impressing them with numerous new features during its 3-day run from September 27 to 29 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
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The fair marked an 9.13% increase in visitor numbers over September 2011 figures. Fifty-four countries were represented, with Hong Kong-based stores and buying offices leading the pack, resulting in a 30.95% increase in Hong Kong buyer attendance over 2011's figure of 1,328. China came in second with 798 buyers, up by 11.45%. Japan buyers made up the third largest contingent with 243. Rounding out the top 10 countries list were Australia, Italy, South Korea, Russia Federation, Taiwan, the Philippines and the USA.
"The increase in buyers is perhaps reflective of the fact that the fashion and leathergoods sectors - particularly leathergoods - have consistently outpaced the overall luxury goods market, and weathered the 2008/09 storm with much more resilience than the watches and jewellery category," says Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. Nonetheless, growth in the fashion and leathergoods market slowed from 20.6% in 2010 to 17.6% in 2011. Mintel expects growth rates for 2012 to be a little below those seen in 2011 but does not expect any major slowdown in growth.
In her Fashion Access seminar on "Buying Accessories for the European Market", Sandrine Williamson of Galeries Lafayette Group in Paris said: "despite the slowing down of the economy in Europe, sales of bags and fashion accessories would continue growing at the rate of at least 5-10% in the next few years." Perrine Ardouin, events director of APLF which organises the fair, noted that "the importance of fashion accessories and leathergoods to the global fashion business is unquestionable. There will always be a strong demand especially for leather bags and shoes, particularly those in the luxury market."
Visitors were also treated to a new look in the Fashion Avenue hall, a section of the fair dedicated to brands. Perhaps the most welcome addition to Fashion Avenue was the 43-exhibitor strong "Shoes from Italy" show brought in by the Italian Footwear Manufacturers Association, ANCI. This was complemented by the 10 exhibitors of bags and leathergoods under the Italian Leathergoods Manufacturers Association, AIMPES.
Jaclyn Wood of Metro Group Buying in Hong Kong said: "It is nice to see some good European products in Fashion Access, in terms of both design and quality, especially the Italian Shoes, which are out of my expectation. I am satisfied with my visit as a whole and looking forward to coming back another time."
The excellent presentations of the 300+ exhibitors particularly in the various country pavilions including those of mainland China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia as well as those of the Design Zone exhibitors from Thailand and Malaysia afforded buyers with a wide selection to choose from.
"I feel satisfied with the wide range of products in Fashion Access. The number of suppliers is more than our expectation and we can find all the things we need right here with really good prices and quality," said Tom De Poortere of Essentiel, Belgium. His view was echoed by Jessica Low, Lianbee-Jeco, Singapore: "Fashion Access is the right place to look for new styles. Here it offers lots of suppliers and latest fashion trends that one could not find in the other fairs."
"Changes in stand design were also well received by buyers. The Fashion Avenue section was awash in white carpet and white, elegantly designed stands, creating a distinctly light feel and convivial ambience. "The lighting and the atmosphere here is awesome, offering a good environment to see new exhibitors and their products," noted Dennis Fung of Wing On Department Stores, Hong Kong.
Michael Picard of Marc Picard, Germany also showed his appreciation for the excellent physical arrangements of the fair, including its well-appointed Fashion Lounges set up for all visitors to enjoy. "I enjoy the relaxing environment in the fair. The country pavilions are very nice as we can find what we are looking for easily." So with Annie Wong of El Corte Ingles HK Ltd.: "The layout of the fair is nice and concentrated, allowing visitors to locate what they want in a more effective way." Sharing the same sentiment was Hikei Wu of Maud Frizon Paris: "Compared with other fairs, the layout of Fashion Access is more welcoming and products are well-displayed as well."
Fashion Access will hold its Fall-Winter 2013-2014 edition from 25-27 March 2013.
ABOUT APLF LTD (www.aplf.com)
APLF Ltd. is a joint venture between UBM Asia and SIC Group. APLF organises leading trade exhibitions in Hong Kong, China and India. It launched the Hong Kong Leather Fair 26 years ago - which is still the largest and most international sector event for all of Asia, and has expanded into the related fields of fashion and lifestyle products.
ABOUT UBM ASIA (www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia operates in 17 market sectors with headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia, including UBM China in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Beijing. We have over 200 products including trade fairs, conferences, trade publications, B2B/B2C portals and virtual event services. As Asia's leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in the two fastest growing markets in Asia: China and India, we stage the leading events of their kind across Asia. Our 150 events, 34 publications and 14 vertical portals serve a 1,000,000 plus quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world with high value face-to-face business-matching events, quality and instant news on market and industry trends and round-the-clock online trading networks and sourcing platforms. We have 1,000 staff in 21 major cities across Asia, stretching from Japan to Turkey.
ABOUT UBM PLC (www.ubm.com)
UBM plc is a leading global company. We inform markets and bring the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewellery traders, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 6,000 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
For fair details, please contact:
Ms Perrine Ardouin
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ms Gay Amistoso
Marketing Communications Manager
Ms Sally Wong
Marketing Communications Executive
17/F China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
SOURCE APLF Limited