Fashion Access in Hong Kong draws over 11,000 industry professionals
Fashion Access, the leather goods and apparel trade show for brands and finished products, took place in Hong Kong from March 31 to April 2, at the same time as MM&T (materials, manufacturing and technology), bringing together more than 400 exhibitors and welcoming nearly 12,000 visitors, 8,697 of them from abroad. Show organizer APLF, a joint venture between SIC Group and UBM Asia, pointed out that the number of buyers from Mainland China increased by nearly 8 percent.
Those buyers often work for international companies operating in China. And the exhibitors all noted that the Hong Kong show is a global meeting place, far more international than its European counterparts.
“It’s a mix of the whole world. But probably with fewer Europeans than in the past,” noted Ben Bosboom of Indonesian firm Sasa Design. And behind the visitor numbers, there is above all a change in the type of visitor, a change linked to how the fashion distribution system in China and Southeast Asia has developed. “At the beginning, at Fashion Access we would meet a lot of large-scale buyers from around the world. Today, it is the smaller retailers who have, say, six stores in Sydney, and e-commerce sellers who come here. The big brands go directly to Guangdong or even have their studio and their teams in Hong Kong,” remarked Olivier Gammont from Leather Pacific, which exhibited its Franc Bourgeois label.
Smaller retailers are also behaving differently. “We take few orders here because the buyers for the big groups go back to headquarters and meet to decide on their final orders. Or they’ll prepare an order and then confirm it or cancel it later on,” explained Robert Song of Six Degrees, a Korean brand that regularly attends the show.
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