Thakoon Panichgul is next up in Kohl’s Department Store’s seventh installment of its DesigNation limited-edition collection.
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The misses’ apparel collection and accessories will be inspired by Panichgul’s trip to London and will be available exclusively at Kohl’s and kohls.com beginning this fall.
“DesigNation is built to inspire our customers with designs shaped by some of the world’s most popular destinations, and Thakoon Panichgul is the perfect person to bring London to life as he is known for showcasing distinct global influences through his collections,” said Nancy Feldman, Kohl’s executive vice president of women’s apparel.
Panichgul recently celebrated his brand’s 10th anniversary in London. For Kohl’s, he will translate his affinity for the British capital’s character, culture and history to unusual prints and patterns for shirts, sweaters, knit tops, dresses and bottoms, all under $200.
“The DesigNation collection allows me to explore London, a city I love so much, in depth, and to bring my imprint and take on its captivating culture to women everywhere,” the designer said.
Asked what prompted him to do a collaboration with Kohl’s, he told WWD, “Kohl’s has established a tradition of working with brands to create accessible fashion to women — the title they have given the DesigNation initiative is completely apropos. The opportunity to contribute to this unique platform, and tie it to London was too good to pass up, and so much fun.” He said he created a complete range of ready-to-wear, with an emphasis on distinct pieces that would stand alone or mix easily together.
Panichgul said he has always had a certain affinity for London. “London is a city I have always loved the energy of. The culture is distinctly familiar, but also very international. The idea was to bring a certain energy intrinsic to London style to the Thakoon vernacular for Kohl’s,” he said.
Panichgul said he collaborated with Kohl’s from start to finish. “The design team at Kohl’s is adept when it comes to working with designers, and translating their vision and silhouettes in a way that works perfectly for the Kohl’s customer,” he said. He noted that price point is always a consideration and an important factor of the design process at any level, “so it was natural to define and focus on the pieces and shapes that could be executed the right way, at the right price point for this initiative.”
Panichgul has been in the news lately. As reported, he is among the designers being considered to do a global e-commerce venture with Vivian Chou, daughter of Hong Kong mogul Silas Chou, but no decision has been made yet.
Born in Thailand and raised in Omaha, Panichgul earned a business degree from Boston University and moved to New York to pursue a fashion degree. Prior to launching his own label, he spent four years as a writer and editor for Harper’s Bazaar. He later enrolled in The New School’s Parsons School of Design. In September 2004, Panichgul presented his first ready-to-wear collection. In 2006, he was one of three recipients of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and also has been nominated by the CFDA for the Swarovski Award for Best Emerging Womenswear Designer.
Over the years, Thakoon has developed a cult following for his romantic, feminine designs, which have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore a Thakoon floral dress on the evening President Obama accepted the 2008 Democratic nomination. Panichgul also designed a limited-edition clothing line at Target in 2009.
Launched in fall 2012, Kohls’ DesigNation has featured such designers as Narciso Rodriguez, Derek Lam, Catherine Malandrino, Peter Som and Elie Tahari, with the upcoming collaboration with Milly by Michelle Smith launching April 23.