The 2016 Hong Kong International Fur and Fashion Fair drew to a close on 28 February with its world leader position as the largest global fur trading platform retained. The fair concluded with US$70 million generated in confirmed orders, anticipated to rise to a total of US$132 million. The fair witnessed a shift in the fur market, this year mainland China has been the strongest market. Product popularity has shifted to favor a more diversified product range to reach more consumers, including menswear and trim items.
- Mr. Henry Sun, Chairman of the Hong Kong Fur Federation (HKFF) says that the increase in fur’s market in mainland China has driven creative growth in the designs for fur garments. Popular styles in the mainland market have driven an increase in the use of colorful dyes, especially in accent items. Mr. Sun also asserts that despite the strength of mainland markets, buyers still come to Hong Kong for a greater sense of style in the clothes supplied by Hong Kong manufacturers.
- Mr. Sun believes that this year is the best time for buyers to invest in good quality fur purchases, as pelt prices dropped to a ten-year low. China is now the fur trade’s strongest market, followed by the US, and then by Korea and Japan.
- According to Mr. Tim Everest, Director of HKFF, the fur market is in a period of economic correction. Russia set to rebound quickly on the heels of general economic recovery. The falling prices at fur auctions are in fact keeping in line with trends of other commodities, thus creating opportunities for the fur industry. The diverse fashion possibilities offered by fur serve as an insulation against market uncertainty, its versatility means it continues to be desirable. With the worldwide vogue for fur, the current shifts in the market have also created an environment which favors innovation of design, and a growing emphasis on niche interests. Fur’s new attractions, not only as a fashion item, but also its new affordability, create a wealth of opportunity in the market.
A shift has also taken place in the types of fur being sold. High-end materials, such as Chinchilla and Sable sales, have increased in percentage over those of Mink, a staple in the fur market. Fox has also become much more popular for its availability in the form of trim, seen especially in the American market. Mink retains its hold on the Chinese market, constituting 90% of fur sales. Four season designs have also seen a resurgence from fashions popular in the 50’s and 60’s, especially with products such as Lambskin, and combination garments pairing fur with cashmere or knitwear.
An increase in product diversity has also helped broaden the appeal of fur in global markets. Mr. Wong Yau Fai, Vice-Chairman of HKFF comments on the shift in men’s fur trends from cold-climate utility, into a more metropolitan fashion market. The shift will hopefully be able to attract younger men to fur and help expand the market. He attributes some of this shift to the saturation in the women’s market, due to 2016’s late winter. As his company launches menswear collection for the first time, Mr. Wong says that menswear has driven a focus on garment versatility and the response has been good.
The 2016 Hong Kong International Fur & Fashion Fair accommodated 720 exhibition booths, with 240 exhibitors from 13 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.