Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fashionistas' Obsession ... Samantha Thavasa

Of all handbag labels in the world, Samantha Thavasa has the most celebrity designers to boot. In fact, the brand itself is also the hardest to get.

First, the name Samantha Thavasa may conjure the idea of a label conceived by American or European designer but au contraire
, the label is actually 100% Japanese and fully-made in Japan by a company of the same name.

Founded in 1994, Samantha Thavasa's fame back in its homeland is enormous with devoted followers made of women in their teenage years up to those in the early 30's.

And in a country where everything from the Western world (think of Brad Pitt, Levi's, Louis Vuitton, Madonna) is highly idolized, Samantha Thavasa bosses have taken this obsession of sort one step further and turned it into a money-making strategy - by hiring renowned American and European, or sometimes Korean celebrities to model and on any given occasion, to design a capsule collection for the brand.

For example, when Nicky Hilton was roped in to create her first handbag collection, the Japanese girls went gaga over the collection and became an instant sellout.

The strategy worked and Samantha Thavasa
began to rope in more celebrities such as Penelope Cruz and sister Monica, the style doyenne Victoria Beckham, and even American socialite Tinsley Mortimer to design handbags and accessories for the label.

To expand its repertoire of products, Samantha Thavasa has created a number of offsprings such as Samantha Tiara (jewelery), Samantha Kingz, SNY, Violet Hanger, and Samantha Vega to name a few.

Apart from designing handbags, Victoria B
eckham also designed a couple of jewelries under her DVB label flag for Samantha Tiara, and thanks to her larger-than-life popularity in Japan, the line sold like hot cakes, just like her DVB for Samantha Thavasa bags.

Despite of the Made in Japan label, never assume that Samantha Thavasa would come cheap.

Believe it or not, an authentic Samantha Thavasa bag could reach the same price point as a Louis Vuitton monogrammed bags or maybe a Gucci purse, and that should be around RM 1800.00 to RM 5000.00, perhaps.

The price would probably soar higher if the collection is conceived by celebrity designers like Victoria Beckham, Tinsley Mortimer, or yes, the Hiltons.

But of course, to any devoted fan, price is just a number and therefore, it's not surprising to know that there are about 130 stores in Japan alone, with main cities like Tokyo as their main focus, hence making the brand one of the most hard to find label in the world.

Abroad, New York is the only city in the world where Samantha Thavasa's presence is clear but there are plans for more international stores to open soon.

For spring/summer 2008, the focal point of Samantha Thavasa collection goes to Salvia bags in metallic hues while sub-label Samantha Thavasa New York's modern outtakes balanced with classic prints and luxurious leather makes it more appealing to the modern day fashionistas.

But if you're looking for a sophisticated look to match your Celine vermilion labyrinth dress or Stella McCartney flowery jumpsuit, then go for Ordina satchel, which retails at JPY 47,250.00 or approximately RM 1469.81. A good price for a great bag!

Samantha Thavasa spring/summer 2008 collection and Samantha Thavasa's celebrity designer collections are available at Samantha Thavasa stores throughout Japan and also in New York.

*Photos courtesy of Nitrolicious,, eBay, and Samantha Thavasa.

Samantha Thavasa New York - 965, Madison Avenue, New York, NY.

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