Why do you show your collection Thakoon for the first time in Paris?
Thakoon Panichgul : I love Paris, and it’s very important to show at this fashion week because everyone is here. New York stands for exciting new energy, but Paris is where the fashion ends. You can find here the more established brands, but as well the important editors. Presenting in Paris means being seen by everyone.
You started writing on fashion, but what made you become a fashion designer?
T.P: After immigrating from Thailand to the States at the age of … I actually worked in production in fashion for a company called J Crew and then I moved over to two editorials and started as assistant at a fashion magazine and became a writer. Once I was there I realized that I wanted to design myself. I took classes in fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York from 2001 to 2003. That’s were it all started.
What have been your references and influences when you launched your first collection Thakoon six years ago?
T.P: It’s always the same thing: I think about a modern woman, strong, feminine and sensual but not over-sexy. This leading idea is about woman should be, refined and strong.
I am very muched influenced by art. I’m looking at a lot of drawings, not because they are cheaper than paintings or sculptures but I like artists with a finer hand.
Very quickly American celebrities like Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker or Rachel Bilson dressed in Thakoon. How did you achieve this?
T.P: It all happened very organically. We don’t pursue celebrities, I don’t court them, they come to me because they discovered the collection somewhere. I like this sense of discovery. It all started with Demi Moore. She saw the collection at Barney’s in LA and bought pretty much the entire collection. The store called me to tell me that she fell in love with my style. She was then photographed in my clothes. After that Charlize Theron wore the collection quite a bit, as well as Tilda Swinton, Rachel Bilson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sienna Miller and Nathalie Portman. Suddenly, there was a word of mouth communication promoting my brand.
How did you manage to develop your brand so quickly?
T.P: Since I was working in a magazine and I met a lot of people. So when I wanted to launch my collection many people already knew who I was and were curious to see my work.
How would describe your new collection, mainly centered around transparent fabrics and snake leather?
T.P: It’s all about freshness, lightness and sensuality. And there is masculine theme running through the collection as I worked a lot with menswear fabrics for this season. We wanted to explore a new classic idea. The jackets look classic but there is a twist in them, the linen is falling out of it for example. That idea goes as well for the python leather because it’s colored and acid washed in order to create a metallic, almost futuristic look.
After many designers falling still for big shoulders and miniskirts, for a lady dressed-to-kill in a sense, how do you see the style of woman in the future?
T.P: I never followed this kind of tendency. I’m looking for continuity in my work, a timeless style and I’m more dreaming about how a woman would like to look in a dress. She wants to beautiful, a little bit sexy…That’s the strength of my collection: it’s not trend driven.
How do you work as a company?
T.P: There are 20 people working with me in our studio in Soho, New York, it’s a small team but growing. For the moment we won’t open a store in Paris but it’s in the cards!