Eight years after launching her line, Koi Suwannagate is taking the next step. Today, the Los Angeles-based Thai designer launches her first secondary line, Lawan, in collaboration with Anthropologie. And while that particular partnership has been months in the making, Suwannagate has been contemplating this next move for nearly two years — ever since she was named a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2007. “I wanted to be partners with someone,” says Suwannagate, “and take the company to the next level.”
At the time, Suwannagate discussed a possible partnership with American Apparel chief executive officer Dov Charney; the two, she explains, are longtime friends. (The infamous exec, in fact, was present at her recent spring show and took home her oversize presentation props for use in his retail stores.) While that collaboration ultimately didn’t pan out — “He had so much on his plate,” she tactfully remarks — Suwannagate is optimistic about the Anthropologie pairing. “What I do is handcrafted and I wanted to keep that aesthetic with the new line,” she explains. “Anthropologie is perfect — when you go in the store, you’re going into this crafty world.”
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