Thakoon Panichgul after many years of work in the fashion industry rose to the spotlight when First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his designs for the night President Barack Obama accepted the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination. Thakoon is from Thailand but moved to Omaha, Nebraska with his family at age 11 and proceeded to get his education in the US in business and fashion. After attending the Parsons School of Design he worked several different jobs in fashion including: merchandiser, assistant, caption writer, and editor for Harpers Bazaar. Thakoon’s first ready-to-wear collection was shown at fashion week in 2004, he was age 29.
Thakoon is well known for his designs to be feminine but still have that sporty and modern touch. He uses a lot of patterns and surface design techniques such as shibori that set his designs from the others. New York Magazine describes his designs as, “ethereal (billowy organza and silk-linen dresses) and urban (cotton polka dot and striped work wear pulled straight out of Holly Golightly’s wardrobe).” Youtube.com video feature Thakoon interviews him about the versatility her puts into his garments. Such as hidden pockets, lace to make a casual garment look elegant, and even various adaptable shapes that make the garment like a convertible piece that can be worn many different ways. The bright and vivid colors, use of luxurious fabrics, and well created patterns have all earned Thakoon a name and a price point to match such collections as Vera Wang, and many other high end successful designers.
Thakoon this past round has been the Go International Designer for Target’s exclusive line that features upcoming designers at a lower price point so that it is available to more of a mass audience. His garments for the Go International line ranged from a price point of $19.99 to 10.99 according to target.com. After looking at the various details that make up his designs I would say that the Go International Collection had a nice variety mixed into casual contemporary garments. While the designs are not as elaborate except for a few screen printed t-shirts there was some that had random zippers and pockets. While I feel the line was a success in our region I do not believe it was successful as all the garments I had seen in store and online are very summery, and hence leads me to believe why majority of the garments were on the clearance rack. Thakoon successfully was able to scale his designs down to a lower price point so that a wider range of the economic population can experience his very elaborate garments.
New York Magazine. Thakoon Panichgul. http://nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/designers/bios/thakoon/ Accessed: February 17, 2009.
Thakoon Panichgul Studio Tour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RchFI2gCr8 Accessed: February 17, 2009