Enterprise Vol 3, 2010: Product Feature: Optical Products
SETTING SIGHTS ON THE UNUSUAL IS A WINNING FORMULA FOR EYE-CATCHING SUNGLASSES AND SPECTACLES FRAMES
Optical products that blend fashion appeal with distinctive elements invariably excel in the market, and buyers looking for such sure-fire sellers need look no further than Asia.
Hong Kong-based Fortune Bright Opticals Industrial Co Ltd, for example, offers a wide range of ladies’ fashion sunglasses in acetate or metal with eye-catching temple details that typically cost US$11-20 FOB Hong Kong a pair.
“Most buyers like our fashionable sunglasses, as users want different styles and special ones that look really nice,” says Director David Fung. “With many new designs, we can offer products that are different from others in the market.”
One hot seller is model 34223, which is distinguished by temples that feature a colour pattern suggestive of seashells or fish scales. “It appeals to European customers,” says Mr Fung.
Another favourite, model 34214, has a colourful rectangular pattern. “The design resembles stained glass in a church window,” Mr Fung notes. “It’s very fashionable, and we offer different colour combinations.”
Model 34240, meanwhile, boasts temples that display a wavy colour pattern embellished with glittering imitation stones — about 150 on each side.
Selling mainly to Europe, the US and Australia, Fortune Bright has reacted to global economic uncertainties by encouraging customers to select more colours per model. “The buyer may want a certain model in six different colours so that the sunglasses are easier to sell,” Mr Fung says.
Also stressing creativity is the Chinese mainland’s Luxin Optical (Shanghai) Co Ltd, which employs a 30-member design team and offers 15,000 new items each year.
“Our designers pay close attention to fashion trends in clothing, furniture and everything else. They find inspiration everywhere,” says Sales Representative Lance Huang.
“Vintage frames stay popular, but we also add new elements. We look for different fashion elements and bring them together in our sunglasses,” he maintains. “Clients enjoy doing business with us because we always have new things. We focus on innovation, reasonable prices and good service.”
The firm spotlights burgundy sunglasses model HSB18033W, with temples that are adorned with shiny pearl powder, imitation diamonds and a laser-created criss-cross pattern. “This model is popular and fashionable,” remarks Mr Huang, adding a pair costs US$7 FOB Shanghai.
Sunglasses model JSB19086W, on the other hand, has frames that are dark red on the outside and black on the inside, and temples decorated by pearl-powder stars. “Not only is it high quality, but it also looks luxurious. We imported the acetate raw material from Italy,” Mr Huang says, quoting a unit price of US$8. “We serve all markets, but our main ones are in Europe and the US.”
An array of interesting spectacles frames is available from Shine Wood Optical Mfy Ltd of Hong Kong, such as model BA9776 with bamboo temples.
“Customers like the bamboo because it’s a natural material and they can see the texture,” says President Freddie Chan. The item costs US$10.50 each FOB Hong Kong.
“Nowadays, everyone offers metal or acetate, but customers also want to find something new and unusual — even unique. So we add more elements and use different natural materials, such as wood, buffalo horn or leather,” Mr Chan explains.
Conventional materials are also used by the company in other frames, such as mainly metal model L9262 that looks classic at the front but unusual at the sides where the temples have leather adornments and rectangular perforations.
“This model is for men,” Mr Chan notes, citing a unit price of US$10.30. “Most men’s styles look traditional, but we added new elements to create something really interesting.”
Another highlight item is model A9232 with acetate rims and metal temples in matching colours. “This one has retro aspects, like rivets visible at the front, but the temples look modern and stylish. The green colour gives a sense of springtime freshness,” says Mr Chan, advising a unit price of US$9.40.
“We work with famous designers so our frames aren’t just basic — there’s always something unique about them.”
Shine Wood sells mainly to Western Europe. “Our products suit it in colours, styles and fashions,” Mr Chan says. “Many European buyers like colourful and attractive items different from those in other markets.”
The firm offers different designs for different countries. “For example, the UK market is the most conservative, so the colours are less unusual. But French, Italian and Spanish buyers always want fresh colours and something new.”
Success requires working smoothly with customers to supply the best products for their needs, says Manager Angela Chan of mainland firm Ruian Tongda Optical Co Ltd, which produces optical frames, reading glasses and sunglasses.
A prime example is acetate frames model TY90755B with temples featuring multiple layers and colours. “But the charming part is an elongated gap with twisted edges in each temple,” enthuses Ms Chan. “We heat the material and turn it 360 degrees to create these elegant arms. Our buyers want products that look unique.”
Plastic frames model TY90950B is likewise trendy, colourful and shaped for comfort. “It sports three colours — dark red, white and pink. We added more colours to enhance the fashion aspect,” explains Ms Chan, noting that the temples are embellished by a flower motif created by a laser-pattern machine.
Meanwhile, a painted flower design graces the otherwise transparent temples of metal-plastic frames model TY91013JS, which is “colourful, clean and charming”, says Ms Chan.
These unusual, appealing and fashionable optical products from Asia not only ensure consumers look good, but also boost buyers’ business.
Text by John Cairns Photography by Nelson Cheung
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