Samantha Thavasa is a Japanese fashion label known for producing handbags. The company, recently expanded to countries outside of Japan, has become well known in recent years for its extensive line of handbags for women in their twenties along with a slew of celebrity endorsements and specialty lines of bags.
Samantha Thavasa was founded in 1994 by Kazumasa Terada, the company’s CEO and current President. Since the company was founded, it has been well known for its use of celebrity faces and lines to boost its visibility among the targeted consumer base – young women, 20-30, in college or in the working sector. The prices are set to match the values and affordability of this demographic as well.
In November of 2006, the first overseas store was opened by Samantha Thavasa in New York City, adding to the 130 retail stores currently operating in Japan. The company’s first store, which opened in March of 1994, is still located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo and along with the rest of the stores, employs young women who are within the target demographic to sell and design the products – both handbags and the newer line of jewelry.
Between 2001 and 2006, the total sales of Samantha Thavasa Japan Ltd. Increased by multiple fold to almost $1 Billion annually, making it one of the largest suppliers of handbags in Japan and a competitor in the world market. Price points for the bags range between 20,000 and 50,000 Yen (about $150-$450), a price that sets them within reach of their younger target audience, but still in the realm of high end handbags from around the world.
The Samantha Thavasa brand is known for its use of multiple different colors and high quality materials while maintaining a relatively affordable price in comparison to similar bags from other high end companies. Everything from rhinestones to hearts and ribbons provide a unique look for the bag along with the brand logo on the curved wooden handles.
Every season, Samantha Thavasa releases anywhere up to 200 new bags to match the advertising campaign that promotes the use of a different bag every day to match the mood of its wearer. The designs will very depending on the moods they are meant to evoke, but largely stick to the basic white and pink color scheme (with occasional bright variations) and the same essential material makeup.
Using celebrities to bolster the popularity and exposure of its bags, Samantha Thavasa has been able to expand substantially. Mostly, the company hires Western celebrities, utilizing the appeal of internationalism. Beyonce and both Paris and Nicky Hilton have both been utilized in advertising campaigns and Nicky Hilton, Tinsley Mortimer, and Victoria Beckham have all started their own lines of handbags with the company. South Korean celebrity Lee Byung-hun was also used to promote a new line of jewelry released by the company called Samantha Tiara.