| Mass production is not in the agenda,
but overseas manufacture has cut prices of handcrafted models made
of imported materials.
Shoe manufactures from Singapore will not compromise with quality
as they continue importing raw materials from Australia, Italy and
the United States. Many models are handcrafted and are hardly mass-produced.
However, since most firms have reduced their overhead costs by moving
production or subcontracting offshore, they are able to quote lower
prices for finished products. They can also afford greater flexibility
with the acceptance of orders.
A possible drawback is the rising Singapore dollar and the sliding
greenback. Raw materials may be bought at lower prices with the devaluating
US dollar, but a slight increase in finished prices will follow the
Singapore dollar’s rise. One surveyed firm, however, quotes
prices in US dollars.
On the whole, makers expect prices to remain stable for the rest of
More daring designs are a means to entice buyers. Senior management
staff participate hands-on to ensure that only the best designs leave
the drawing boards.
QC is essential at all the firms contacted. Spot checks are conducted
on cut leather and stitching. Firms are also known for their efficiency
and ability to adapt quickly to market changes.
Companies are keeping the productivity level high by paying their
staff on a per-piece basis.
Factories: 1,700 square feet in Singapore, Johor Baru,
Capacity: 500 shoes daily
Min. order: none
Delivery: 60 days after confirmation
Fax: (65) 445-9287
Inquiry # FA0057
“Patsi Footwear’s factory in Johor Baru employs housewives
for their skill in stitching shoe uppers and adding accessories,”
said marketing manager Patrick Lan. The soles are made in Singapore.
Producing offshore allows the firms to reduce its prices by about
5 percent, said Lan.
Trendy casual and dress shoes for young women make up the main line.
Patsi Footwear is also a licensed footwear manufacturer of Courreges
The firm imports nubuck, suede and leather from Italy. Strapped,
laced, open and closed toe models are on offer. Most products sell
for $21.57 t0 $25.88 a pair, FOB Singapore.
A variety of colors in different shades is available. “Various
earth tones sell the most,” said Lan. “Metallic sliver
and gold models are also popular.”
European sizes range from 34 to 41, while Asian sizes range from
3 to 10.
The in-house Marianne Collezion label includes flat pumps to 3-inch
heels. The summer sandals and weave collections are the most popular,
each carrying 15 to 20 designs.
The sandals feature leather soles and calfskin uppers in different
The weave series in calfskin, patronized in Japan and Europe, is
available in dark shades and in intertwining, multicolored versions.
Weaves with tiny air openings can also be created. The range sells
fro $28.76 a pair.
The shoes are packed in individual boxes. Clients may specify their
requirements or use the in-house designs.
“We are reliable and efficient, and produce footwear of high
quality,” said Lan.
The maker accepts buyers’ designs. Markets include Australia,
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Min. order: 12 pairs/color, 80 pairs/design
Delivery: 60 to 90 days after confirmation
Fax: (65) 356-0503
Inquiry # FA0058
Freeman is one of the few Singapore footwear subcontractors producing
low-end to high-end women’s shoes in Indonesia, Malaysia and
Thailand. Products made in Malaysia are exported from Singapore,
while those made in Indonesia and Thailand are shipped to customers
“Subcontracting allows us to cater to small buyers who cannot
make large orders,” said executive sales and marketing director
Richard Tong. “To lower their costs, we can adapt a different
material to a design they may find expensive.”
Freeman also accepts high-end buyers’ designs.
Fly or Die and Pretty Feet are its two in-house brands. “The
former caters to working women, while the latter targets trendy,
fashion-conscious teenagers,” Tong said.
Just last June, the company released a sporty Fly or Die series,
combining patent leather with rubber soles. Red, blue, white, black
and transparent models are available in strapped or lace-up, flat
or 3-inch-heel versions. Ten different designs sell for $15 a pair.
The Pretty Feet label features strapped leather sandals made entirely
of calf leather. They are priced at $25 per pair.
High-heeled mules for office wear come in black, brown, beige or
white. Each pair features laces and 3-inch heels. Another model
resembling a court shoe adopts a similar design and sells for $20.
All shoes are available in different sizes: Asian (3 to 10), Japanese
(22 to 28) and European (35 to 41). Freeman releases two collections
each year. It uses leather and fabrics for the summer line, while
combining wood with nubuck, suede or cow leather for the winter
The firm exports about 40 percent of its products to Hong Kong and
Taiwan. It is regular participant at the Hong Kong International
Tony Shoes Trading Co.
Factories: in Singapore and Johor Baru, Malaysia
Capacity: 500 shoes daily
Min. order: 200 to 300 per design/color
Delivery: 30 to 60 days after confirmation
Fax: (65) 280- 7421
Inquiry # FA0059
Producing offshore allows Tony Shoes to reduce its prices by 15
to 20 percent, said sales and marketing manager Raymond See. The
firm recently doubled its factory space in Malaysia to 10, 000 square
feet. It also maintains an office in Kuala Lumpur.
“We expanded in Johor mainly to increase our production capabilities
and meet increasing order,” said See.
Men’s shoes compose the export line, besides accounting for
about 80 percent of the men’s shoe market in Singapore. The
firm is also the sole distributor of the Biltrite label from Italy.
Materials, including calf, lamb, ostrich and snake skins, nubuck
and suede, are imported from Australia, Italy and United States.
Tony Shoes launches four collections, consisting of seven to eight
designs, every year. New collections are normally launched in line
with the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons. Traditional colors
like black, dark brown and maroon are the most popular, See said.
Prices range from $22 to $40 a pair. Buyer’s designs are accepted.
The Larika label comprises casual men’s shoes that are designed
in-house. The line combines nubuck, suede and leather. The buckles
and shoelace accessories from Taiwan and Korea are plated in 16K
The lightweight “Casual Moccasin” series mainly features
slip-on, lace-up sandal-type models in sizes 5 to 12. A range of
colors is available, including shades or black, brown, beige and
white. Each pair sells for about $20.
The Biltrite range consists of formal men’s shoes, featuring
models with laces, buckled straps and intricate stitching on the
uppers. Their soles are imported and made of leather, rubber or
formica. The uppers are made in Singapore.
See creates the design himself. New products undergo strict QC.
“We check even the grade of glue used to secure the uppers
to the sole,” said See.
Tony Shoes exports to Australia, Dubai, Indonesia and Taiwan, Russia
is a prospective market.