While most 29-year-olds dread the big 3-0 — some putting it off for years — designer Thakoon Panichgul will happily admit it’s been great for him, life-changing even. He hit the milestone within days of presenting his first full...
While most 29-year-olds dread the big 3-0 — some putting it off for years — designer Thakoon Panichgul will happily admit it’s been great for him, life-changing even. He hit the milestone within days of presenting his first full Thakoon collection in September, and his soft, ladylike looks had onlookers intrigued. The line was picked up at Barneys New York, Kirna Zabête, Jeffrey New York and Selfridge’s and Harvey Nichols in London, as well as several Japanese boutiques.
“It was a good birthday,” he says with his typical soft-spoken understatement. But Panichgul didn’t just get lucky. His entrée into the design world was a well-calculated, well-executed plan. After all, last year at this time, he was fashion features editor at Harper’s Bazaar. While covering other designers, he took night classes at Parsons; before that, he did press for Yeohlee, managed merchandise at J. Crew and graduated with a business degree from Boston University. With the fundamentals covered, Panichgul placed himself in a solid position to stay the retail course.
“You know, it’s all fine and good to be creative and artsy,” he states. “But you have to sell it.” And it’s keeping that fine balance that he thrives on. “Fashion is a commodity. The end result isn’t to just get it covered in magazines or worn by celebrities,” he says. “It’s to have people go and buy the clothes and wear the clothes — that’s fulfilling.”
It’s also what the city’s top retailers are banking on, believing that Panichgul’s looks will have cash registers cha-chinging this spring. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it looked like nothing else,” Jeffrey’s Jeffrey Kalinsky says of his encore viewing. “It had a singular point of view — sophisticated, chic, modern, cool.”
Kirna Zabête owners Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley had a similar response. “We just died over it,” Buccini says. She’s eager to see his presentation Sunday, when he’ll send out a fall lineup of what he’s calling “new-classical and new-Tokyo,” a mix of punchy colors, lacy layers and familiar silhouettes, such as a pair of crisp white, wide-legged trousers done in 100 percent bamboo and a flirty pink satin jacket with a black lace overlay. Retail prices run from a $225 T-shirt to a jacket at $1,800.For the designer, though, this is all part of the plan.“Looking back at it, I feel like it was gutsy. It’s great that it’s gotten this far,” he says, echoing what so many before him have said. “But if I knew then what I know now….”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast