Swakara shines on runways
Wessel Visser, Agra’s Manager for Social Business and Services, Tobie le Roux, Karakul Board member and Jaco van Zyl, Agra’s Technical Advisor for Swakara Production represented the product at the Hong Kong Fur and Fashion Fair in China. Later, Swakara was represented at the Milan International Fur Fair – Mi-Fur, in Italy by Dagmar Honsbein, General Manager of Agra ProVision.
At both international fur shows, Swakara as a high-end, niche product attracted the attention of many fur fashion lovers. At the Hong Kong Fur Fair, the modern design Swakara booth was strategically positioned close to exhibitors selling Swakara garments and dressed skins. “Representation at this show created an ideal opportunity to promote the 2015 Swakara promotional fashion collection, provided a platform to meet with manufacturers and network with clients,” said Visser. Trade fairs are perfect platforms to showcase products that are market-ready. Swakara needs to continue to market itself, because fairs go under the motto “see, and be seen”. Honsbein said that Swakara needs to keep abreast with international market trends. “These fairs are an excellent sounding board to find out what’s happening in the fashion world, and what should/could be implemented locally to remain in tune with market demand,” she highlighted. She continued by saying, “There is great interest for Swakara, however, the quantities we produce are very low. The price of Swakara is rather high, forcing fashion designers to mix the material with other textiles of other fur types. Moreover, fur dealers are also forced to market a mix of various types of fur.”
Reflecting on the trade shows, Honsbein said, “although efforts are thrown at positioning Swakara favourably on the international scene, the market response in general was very mixed and fur traders are sceptic because of disappointing sales in the 2014/2015 autumn and winter season. This not only affects Swakara, but it also directly affects other fur types.” She added, “the “usual” buyers are not eager to buy new fur stock, because; they still have unsold stock, the winter in the northern hemisphere was again relatively warm; the persisting Russia / Ukraine estranged political relationship and the depreciation of Russian rouble.”
In light of the upcoming international auction, Visser said from the observation and developments in the industry, prices are expected to be stable in US Dollar of Euro terms. “High quality pelts are still in demand. From the first two 2015 international auctions of mink, there was a slight increase in price. Based on this, it is expected that the better skins will still fetch good prices,” he explained. Raw Swakara fur skins’ pricing structure is linked to that of mink. Swakara pelts are sold exclusively at Kopenhagen Fur’s April and September auctions, the largest fur auction house. The April auction will take place on the 18 April 2015, in Copenhagen, Denmark.