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Thakoon Has A Fine New Job

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After the end of his contract with Hogan, Thakoon Panichgul wasn’t looking for another extracurricular activity. “The [signature] line is expanding, and I really just wanted to focus on the collection and on Addition, which is also growing really quickly,” said the designer today on the phone from his Lafayette Street studio. Still, Panichgul accepted a meeting with Toshikazu Tajima, a former LVMH executive who is now the CEO of Japanese fine jeweler Tasaki, during the mad rush of prepping his Spring 2010 show. “He had been following my career and brand for a while,” explained Panichgul. “There’s a sensibility here that he loved—feminine but subversive.” Last week, they finalized the details, making Panichgul the new creative director of Tasaki, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of pearls (it’s where Mikimoto gets theirs). “I’ve always loved fine jewelry,” said the designer. “It’s a hidden luxury. Right away when we met, I already had ideas.” Panichgul’s new role involves designing a collection for the company’s topmost tier as well as overseeing everything that comes down its pipeline. The first collection of Thakoon for Tasaki will be unveiled in February at the reopening of the company’s five-story flagship in Ginza. This is actually a pretty active news week for the designer. He’s headed tonight to Zurich as one of the six nominees for the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award ceremony on Thursday. And he made a sort of informal announcement about an expansion into menswear prompted by the launch of his men’s cardigan collaboration for Aloha Rag. For the moment, it’s a hazy notion somewhere down the line, but Panichgul did confirm that when it does happen, Thakoon men’s would be designer, not contemporary. “I think there’s room up there,” he said. “[Men] will buy when it’s quality.”

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