Ten minutes with Thakoon

ELLE tracked down New York designer Thakoon at Joseph trunk show to quiz him about swimmers, shopping and summer style . . .


He’s the Thai-American designer with an eye for crisp, clean yet feminine designs, and counts Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama as patrons. He’s seen his business expand rapidly in the eight years since launching his label and is now part of the establishment that he once used to write about as a fashion journalist. (He completed a womenswear degree at Parsons in New York once he realised his real passion was for design). He also has a reputation for being one of the nicest people in the business.


We caught up with Thakoon in the luxurious surroundings of the Joseph store on London’s Sloane Street the afternoon of his London AW12-13 trunk show.

ELLE: Hello and welcome to Knightsbridge! What does it mean for you to be working with Joseph?

Thakoon: Well it’s great, I’ve always liked Joseph. It’s an institution. You know they only pick the best brands and the coolest clothes, so for me to be involved with them is like a stamp of approval. To work with a company you’ve always admired means a lot.


Can you let us in on any styling tips for Summer 2012?

Oh, that’s so hard to come up with these things! Here’s a good one. I really love metallics at the moment.

Metallic fabrics or metallic accessories?

Just an accent of metallics. Like a bag or a belt in gold or silver but matched with a neutral like white or beige. That’s such a classic combination. It’s just so fresh, it almost cools you down.

Lovely. Are you enjoying your time in London? Do you like coming over here?

Oh definitely. I always take the opportunity to come here. Every time I get to come to Europe I’ll always make a point of getting a day or two in London. I have friends here too, and it’s one of my favourite places.The things I like about London are the shops, the National Gallery, exploring different parks, and going in all the specialist bookshops in places like Charing Cross Road.

Will you be watching the Olympics?

Well of course! Last Olympics I got so addicted! And that year it was all about [beefed up multiple gold medal winning swimmer] Michael Phelps. So this year it’s all about who’s it going to be, the breakout star of the Olympics. I don’t really watch track and field, but I love swimming, diving and gymnastics.

Do you still get people asking you about The September Issue?

All the time. Like today, someone instagrammed me and said – ‘Just saw Thakoon in London, recognised him from The September Issue.’ To be honest it’s really strange, because I don’t clearly remember the time it happened. That year to me is a big blur. Things were happening so fast for me at that time, we didn’t know the film was going to be a big deal and the way the filming was arranged was so casual – I hardly noticed it was going on. Then when it came out the reaction was insane. I still can’t watch it now.

Tell us a bit about the Autumn Winter collection.

My inspiration was romantic New York. Like New York of the old days, or from movies like Rosemary’s Baby. The colours were inspired by the artist Ed Kienholz. There are also some amazing textiles that I am really pleased with in this collection – like very very soft Mongolian fur, which we have woven into quite simple cardigan/coats. Then another thing I love that we’ve done is a special jacquard, with hearts and kisses woven into it. Now that is really cool.

See Thakoon's AW12 collection here

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