As fur fashion gains popularity internationally, Korea shows a high demand for fur garments. The remarkable increase in purchases from Korea this year, according to Mr. Chiu, is mainly due to popular fur fashion trend and cold climate in the country. The trend is further accelerated by celebrity effect as fur fashion is often featured in Korean dramas, making fur a winter outfit of choice in Korea.
Performance of Hong Kong’s biggest export market, Russia, showed a more cautious approach. This year, total order confirmed by Russian buyers is at US$26 million. Mr. Chiu explained that there were two warm winters in Russia in the past two years, according to Russian customers, stock level remained high. It was therefore expected that the buying power of Russian would be slack.
“Political instability and economic downturn in Russia also might have some negative impact, causing Russian buyers to play it safe when purchasing fur. However, business is expected to pick up as soon as the Russian market goes back to normal. The tense Russian-Euro trade relationship will also encourage trading between Russian and the Asian region including Hong Kong.” The local fur industry is confident the Russian market will bounce back with sturdy growth in the coming year.
As the market is getting more diversified and personalization has become a much valued attribute, mass-manufacturing identical items may not be able to meet consumer expectations. Personalized, customized merchandise is the way to go in order to cater for different consumer groups. No one likes to find herself dressed in the same as another person in the same occasion. Furriers therefore also took on a personalized approach instead of mass production. For example, each piece of garment in the same collection, using the same material, is designed to be different, so as to meet market demand for variety and uniqueness.
The 2015 Hong Kong International Fur & Fashion Fair accommodated 850 exhibition booths, with 280 exhibitors from 14 countries showcasing fabulous products and exchanging innovative ideas. Renowned as the most important fur trade event in the world, the Fair this year attracted buyers from over 30 countries. The 4-day exhibition brought together market-leading furriers and fur buyers from all over the world and is recognized as the world’s largest fur trading platform.