Thakoon Panichgul is broadening his design horizons.

This story first appeared in the November 10, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The New York-based ready-to-wear designer has taken on a new role as creative director at Japanese fine jewelry firm Tasaki.

Known for its pearls, the 55-year-old jeweler listed on the Tokyo/Osaka Stock Exchange became a De Beers site holder in 1995.

Panichgul said working with fine jewelry “will unquestionably feed into my overall creative process.”

“I’ve always loved fine jewelry,” he said. “I like things that are not obvious, to play with rough diamonds and make pearls more modern for this generation. “

Toshikazu Tajima, Tasaki chief executive officer, said, “I’m looking forward to offering our customers Thakoon’s talented interpretation of fashion. The superior creativity of Panichgul caught my attention since the start of the Thakoon brand.”

In addition to creating pearl jewelry, Tasaki cultivates, manufactures and sells pearls. The firm also has dealings in colored stones.

Thakoon was launched in 2004 to critical acclaim. The line is sold in stores such as Barneys New York, Kirna Zabête and Stanley Korshak. The firm also has an eyewear collection. Panichgul just ended his two-year contract as creative director of Italian accessories firm Hogan

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