Fur makes a strong comeback at a Hong Kong fair
After a downturn last year, due to the economic situation and warm weather in many countries, fur is making a comeback as a key Hong Kong fashion event shows.
The Hong Kong International Fur & Fashion Fair, one of the world's largest fur-trading events, was held at the city's Convention and Exhibition Center from Feb 16 to 18.
More than 200 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions displayed their offerings, ranging from raw materials to fur clothes and accessories. More than 4,200 buyers from more than 30 countries visited.
The event opened with Fur Gala 2017, where 15 local furriers showed collections that included more than 100 looks, ranging from sporty wear to glamorous evening gowns. There were also two men's collections.
The event recorded a total of $139 million in confirmed orders, 20 percent more than last year.
Demand rose sharply this year, especially for fashion items, say exhibitors. The number of Russian buyers increased this year as the ruble appreciated and oil prices rose after the US presidential election, says Henry Sun, chairman of the Hong Kong Fur Federation.
At the same time, the cold weather in the United States, Europe and Japan last year also helped push up demand, he adds.
Sun estimates that the turnover and export volume for the industry this year will grow by about 20 percent. He adds that the designs have become better this year with prints, and while buyers are returning, they are still cautious about prices.
Last year saw a historic low for the fur industry in Hong Kong, with a 30 percent drop in export volume and a 28 percent fall in export value year-on-year, due to factors like the US election, the faltering Russian economy and warm winter in many countries.