Thakoon and Vivian Chou’s Bright Fame Fashion have put their fashion operation on hold.
Bright Fame acquired a controlling interest in Thakoon in 2015 for an undisclosed sum. Bright Fame Fashion’s strategy was to develop a collection of see now buy now fashion, freeing the designer from the traditional fashion calendar.
But Thakoon showed only two collections, and now the business is being put on hold, according to a spokeswoman, who declined to give further details of the status of staffing and other operations.
Thakoon was Bright Fame Fashion’s first acquisition. Vivian Chou is the daughter of Hong Kong mogul Silas Chou, chief executive officer of Novel Holdings, and a former investor in Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.
But clearly the experiment with Thakoon did not work out in the way it was structured.
The spokeswoman said that in the last 10 years, Silas Chou has been building a big investment portfolio, including fashion and tech sectors. The Thakoon brand was one of them. “However we have recognized that the business model is ahead of the current retail environment. Therefore, we are taking a pause and an eventual restructure,” she said.
Silas Chou said, “I still believe in Thakoon’s tremendous design talent and the brand as well as the strong management team behind this project.”
Thakoon Panichgul, added, “it was time for my brand to explore a new business model and this opportunity allowed us to do so. We can now take the learnings from this to apply to the next evolution of Thakoon.”
The company said that the next steps of the operation are all under consideration but gave no details. The company is still shipping spring merchandise.
When the deal was first revealed, Vivian Chou said, “What we’re trying to do is a bit disruptive to the industry. In fashion tech, already there are people who are making money in e-commerce. It’s definitely a huge market and a huge opportunity. It’s where the world is going.”
Panichgul was born in Thailand, raised in Omaha and graduated from Boston University. He spent four years as a writer and editor at Harper’s Bazaar before enrolling in The New School’s Parsons of Design. He presented his first ready-to-wear collection in New York in September 2004. In 2006, Thakoon was one of three recipients of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and was nominated by the CFDA for the Swarovski Award for Best Emerging Womenswear Designer.