Long the world’s biggest and most successful single fur trading platform of its kind, the Hong Kong International Fur and Fashion Fair (HKIFF) for 2018 drew to a close on 24 February. With some US$58,570,000 in confirmed orders – an increase of 15% over 2017 – HKIFF 2018 was once again hailed as a huge success by industry experts. A magnet for leading buyers from 30 major fur markets worldwide, the 2018 event attracted 180 exhibitors from 10 countries and regions. Showcased at this year’s Fair’s of exhibition space 28,000 sq. m were premium-grade raw materials and cutting-edge fur apparel and accessories across a wealth of different styles. In addition to furriers, those coming along to meet their peers included top fur buyers and fashion designers from all four corners of the world.
What made HKIFF 2018’s success doubly impressive was the fact that this year’s ahead-of-normal scheduling clashed with not only Milan International Fur Fair but also Chinese New Year. Despite the expected drop in attendee numbers from countries like China, sales remained strong, with a double-digit revenue increase starting Asia’s Lunar New Year on an auspicious high.
Throughout its 37-year history, HKIFF has played a massive role in the international fur market, establishing excellent relationships with exhibitors and buyers almost everywhere. This year, many Milan-bound buyers were so keen not to miss out on HKIFF, they only flew to Europe after placing advance orders with exhibitors during the Fair’s first two days. The spectacular resultant rise of 15% in confirmed orders ultimately underlined HKIFF’s unbreakable hold on the top spot in its field. With other buyers scheduling to revisit Hong Kong exhibitors in March, sales figures look set to surge further still.
While Korea was another Asian country celebrating the Lunar New Year, HKIFF saw over 230% increase in order from Korean buyers eager to check out its creative designs and high-end products. Other major markets such as the US, France and Japan also showed stability and growth. Small wonder most exhibitors and attendees remain bullish about the fur market’s future prospects.
One exhibitor, a representative of a leading international auction house shared her reasons for always attending HKIFF. “With its long and illustrious history, HKIFF continues to be the international fur industry’s showcase of choice for both buyers and sellers. The event’s success is twofold. It not only enables exhibitors like us to entice new customers and so expand our business. It allows us to exchange insights with existing customers and so begin perfecting the products that will ensure the fur industry’s sustained success”.
Harnessing their strong market insights, exhibitors at HKIFF understand that innovative design and diversified products are vitally important. To this end, HKIFF 2018 incorporated a “Designers Love Fur” theme in Hong Kong that challenged designers to underline their creativity while emphasizing fur’s incomparable glamour. Exhibitors themselves strove to stand out by co-operating with international design legends. A collection of ultra-chic designs from famous Russian fashion designer, Igor Gulyaev, was one of HKIFF 2018’s undisputed highlights. Given his homeland’s early economic recovery, the overwhelmingly positive response Gulyaev’s designs have received indicate a bright future for fur in Russia. Using the HKIFF platform, he also viewed his participation at this fair as a channel to the China market.
Other key trends noted at HKIFF 2018 include the next steps in fur’s ongoing evolution from purely functional outerwear to metropolitan fashion statement. High demand for the array of young and fashionable apparel and accessories on offer at HKIFF further accelerated this development.
Mr. Wilson Chiu, Chairman of HKIFF organizer, the Hong Kong Fur Federation, was delighted by the success of the show. He was also upbeat about prospects for the fur industry itself, stating: “The world’s fur business is in a period of economic restructuring. While an underperforming Russian economy and warm winter in many countries has seen a drop in export volumes, fur’s status as a global fashion item remains impregnable. Designers’ increased experimenting with colorful shades and other innovative flourishes have resulted in many of 2018’s most popular products. The opening up of new markets for avant-garde combinations of down feathers, fur, embroidery and fashionable elements is perhaps the most exciting of this year’s many advances”. Mr. Chiu went on to encourage his fellow furriers to establish their own labels and to branch out into new markets such as furniture, bags and toy industries.
Elaborating on his ideas about possible future developments, Mr. Chiu added: “The mainland Chinese market is so large and diverse that many buyers are now focusing squarely on identifying unique niches. These are especially favorable conditions for Hong Kong fur manufacturers who have always been strong in creative design and high-end product development”. Mr. Chiu closed by stressing his appreciation that “local designers’ highly personalized creations have never failed to delight international buyers with their advanced technology and refined craftsmanship. I am not alone in predicting still more outstanding creative possibilities for the Territory’s next generation of fur designers” Mr. Chiu concluded.
Scheduled to take place from 15 February to 18 February, HKIFF 2019 will avoid clashing with 2019’s Chinese New Year on 5 February and also next year’s later Milan Fur Fair. The more attendee-friendly timing is sure to result in a measurable increase in the number of buyers coming to Hong Kong from Korea and Mainland China. HKIFF organizer, The Hong Kong Fur Federation, remains committed to continually enhancing design excellence. As always, its ultimate goal remains the strengthening of Hong Kong’s reputation as the international fur industry’s Number One marketplace for top producers, exporters and buyers.
Hong Kong Fur Gala 2018
1. Chiu’s Fur Trading Co.
Attracted by cosmopolitan women in the Manhattan city of New York, this collection reveals their elegance & grace by combining high-end mink, fox, wool and cashmere material. Presented in a cool palette of ice-greys, blue- blacks, the collection consists of long jackets, cloaks, shawls and scarves with bold elements of graphic patterns, which shows the classic image of a modern woman.
2. S.F. Fashion Co. Ltd.
The collection, entitled ‘Shadow’, is inspired by artistic European Cities and European civilization in which using harmonious colors such as mahogany, caramel color, and natural whites on fur material of mink and gold island fox. With a special technique of “letting out” & elongating the fur, the contrast mosaic floral inlaid on the long coats are made viciously prominent. Apart from the repeated use of parquet process and the warm Winter colors, the variety of cuttings made each coat as unique and special as any charming European big City, whilst maintaining all of its mysterious charisma.
3. Lanca Fur Trading Co. Ltd.
With icy winter floral as its metamorphism, the collection uses purple, grey, black and grey-blue as their main palette. A sense of layering is created inspired by lines & structure of architect. Together with the traditional shearing & cutting, lively floral petals decorated the whole collection, restoring vitality & natural beauty to a hushed urban city.
4. Valtino Garment Co. Ltd.
Glorified by the gracefulness of simplicity & lines, this collection features precious lynx, sable, & mink mainly in white and brown hues. Luxurious casual fur provokes an overall modish intellectual woman. Topped with 100% pure cashmere fabric, this young and fashionable collection feels refreshed by the City rain, giving a sense of coziness & warmth.
5. Dai-Ichi Madam Fur Ltd.
Combining pearl white mink with matching lynx hoods and collars, the first five designs show a classic minimalism beauty, like the soft rays of dawn. While the last five sets matches chic waterproof fabric with pink color fox or lynx lining, hoods and collars to project high spirits & charisma, like warm colors of sun beams after the City rain.
6. Precious Fur Trading Co.
With exquisite nature as its inspiration, this collection features a selection of fashion- forward designs inclusive of flamboyant floral embroideries and appliques. A vibrant bouquet of color is envisioned bringing freshness & joy. Adopted fox, mink & lamb fur in dreamy colors of cream yellow, white, pale purple & baby pink, the collection create an opulent yet harmonious color palette.
7. Ocean Fur Co. Ltd.
Under the theme ‘Winter Checkered’, the collection captures a lively breeze winter forest with advance 3-dimensional check printing on mink and fox fur where an array of sporty jackets for men & women, from cocoon to streamline silhouettes, are in vivid colors of red, blue and white.
8. Ace Fur Manufacturing Ltd.
With a set of rich saturated color palette in mink fur as highlight of its design, the collection assembles chic and flamboyant in a spontaneous way. The ensembles are precious & mesmerizing as a winter pearl.
9. Season Trading Co. Ltd.
With black, red mink and fox, and combining luscious cashmere fabric, the collection emits vibrant as luscious as the temperament of mermaids, defining women of 21st century characterised with distinct style & brilliance.
10. East Link Fur Ltd.
Entitled ‘Flos’ the collection taking flowerers as inspiration uses Russian Sable fur in vivid floral colors of blue, purple, yellow and pink . Dressed & styled with traditional Qi Pao, feminity is fully displayed in dazzling clusters of flowers.
11. O’merinos (International) Ltd.
Set off in black, white & red colors, an elegant woman figure is imposed into each coat by intarsia, depicting the divine woman from the classic “Garden of Eden”. Luxurious Mink and Swakara are used & engineered into eye-catching patterns, reminiscent of the grandeur and pleasure of the Eden Goddess.
12. International Fur Co. Ltd.
A playful and luxurious collection exhibits the sumptuous grandeur of the Midnight Queen ranging from jackets, medium coats to long coats. Infused rich colors from dark blue, blue silver, purple gold to other bold colors into Sable, Mink and Fox, the collection uses intricate techniques as well to draw people’s attention, which includes color blocking, pattern sewing, leather layering, and fringe cutting.
13. D S K Furs Ltd.
The luxurious sable collection “Code Noir” was inspired by the femme fatales of Film Noir movies. With high-quality fur skins, the modern classic design gives a sense of mystery and glamour.
14. Hong Kong Fur Factory Ltd.
Under the theme ‘Glitz’, this luxurious collection exploring the glamour city features grey and burgundy in Mink & Fox. The fine workmanship of mink intarsia, in combination with fox chessboard layout & matching velvet, further enrich styling detail and textural interest. The bold design remarks a new era of sporty novelty in the Fur industry.