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APLF energizes Fashion Access with innovation & newness
Apr '09
Fashion Parade
Fashion Parade
The APLF Fashion Access and APLF-MM&T fairs ended April 2nd in Hong Kong with encouraging numbers, while innovation, newness and a strong fashion focus fostered an energetic mood.

According to the verified figures, visitor numbers for the combined fairs totaled almost 30,000 this March, an optimistic number considering today's grim global economy.

2009 saw overall fewer visitors compared to last year but there were increased numbers reported from important markets Spain, the Middle East, Thailand, Pakistan and some South American countries including Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela.

"In view of travel cuts and the economic downturn, the small drop in the number of visitors was much less than we anticipated. People are allocating their budgets to attend major shows to better use their travel budgets," noted Michael Duck, Director of APLF.

The organisers responded well to the current economic climate by placing greater focus on fair value – this year, more than ever. Numerous exhibitors at both Fashion Access and MM&T, for example, commented that the quality of buyers and their openness to do business had exceeded their expectations.

Visitors were also pleased.

Buyer Billy Norris of US handbag and travelware company Daymakers of Santa Barbara, best known for its practical styles, found inspiration in the design directions presented at the Fashion Access and APLF-MM&T trends lounges.

He told the online leather and fashion trade publication FashionNetAsia “Seeing the trends and innovations at the fairs showed me just how much fashion can energise a product.”

American fashion designer Aileen Lai commented: “I found the APLF-MM&T trade show to be quite a success with a lot of new vendors that I had not seen in the past - which means a lot during such economic times”.

“Simply put, buyers still need to buy even though business is tough,” Lai added.

Newness, Trends and Innovations

Fashion Access, which focuses on finished leather goods, shoes, accessories and some apparel, attracted buyers by offering a wide range of quality products. Of particular interest were the high-tech ski gloves enhanced with ergonomic design and material (from Japan's Matsuoka Glove Co.), Brazilian shoe brand Luiza Barcelos Calcados for its bespoke-style fashion offer, and the elegant, seamless leather goods by Hong Kong's Chanceland.

The use of leather for garments is re-emerging, and is one look to watch for upcoming seasons. Driving this trend at Fashion Access was Brazilian designer Patricia Vieira's innovative collection of modern and wearable leather garments.

Meanwhile, new leather innovations unveiled at the materials and leather-focused APLF-MM&T added to the importance of this trend. Leather supplier Uyguner Deri from Turkey took home a Best of APLF Award for its ultra-thin, supple leather offered in a wide range of colours that widen possibilities for the creation of garments

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