Like Kate Spade? Check out Samantha Thavasa, Japan's popular brand!

If you like handbags, chances are you've heard of Kate Spade. But have you ever heard of Samantha Thavasa? Samantha Thavasa is a Japanese handbag brand that looks very similar to Kate Spade's designs, but with its own original touches. While the prices are unfortunately just as similar, if you want to splurge on your next bag, check out Samantha Thavasa - no one around you will have the same bag!



What is Samantha Thavasa?


Samantha Thavasa is a Japanese fashion company, known primarily for its handbags popular among twenty-something women. Other accessory lines such as Samantha Thavasa Deluxe, Samantha Vega, Samantha Thavasa New York were created to meet different markets.

The company was founded in 1994 by Kazumasa Terada, the current CEO and president. The company has over 130 retail stores in Japan. In late 2006, Samantha Thavasa opened its first U.S. store in New York City.

Samantha Thavasa also has a range of sub-brands that cater to specific audiences, such as Samantha Vega, which caters to women in their late teens and early twenties and features much more affordable prices with similar designs to Samantha Thavasa (comparable to Kate Spade's inexpensive brand, Kate Spade Saturday). There are also two golf collections (Samantha Thavasa Under 25 and Samantha Thavasa No. 7) as well as Samantha Thavasa Petit Choice, which creates wallets and small items. Samantha Kingz is a line specifically for men.

Examples of Samantha Thavasa

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.




Wallets (Samantha Thavasa Petit Choice)



More handbags


Even more handbags


Another handbag (and model/brand muse Miranda Kerr)

Golf items


Samantha Thavasa also produces sweets (mostly eclairs) and a new brand of skinny jeans that Girls' Generation endorses.

Celebrity marketing

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.

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr/Wikimedia Commons

Beyonce and Solange Knowles


TixGirl Ames Friedman, New York, NY/Wikimedia Commons


Girls' Generation




The most important thing, of course, are the prices.

Samantha Thavasa averages within the $300 - $500 (USD) range, while Samantha Vega is much more affordable within the $100 - $300 range. The hardcover suitcases are about $250, and wallets go from approximately $95 to $200. Of course, depending on where you buy the bag, sales tax will change the price considerably. Try buying straight from the producer: in Japan!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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