Text by Kee | Photo courtesy of Thakoon
A mockneck sweater dress
A hooded sweatshirt, wrap tie jacket, and high-waisted trousers
A hooded sweatshirt and slip dress
An oversized shirt and high-waisted trousers
A silk dress and chunky turtleneck sweater

Not many get a second shot let alone a third. But in the case of Thakoon Panichgul, he must be doing something right to deserve another try at the big-time. After a two-year hiatus, the Bangkok-born, Nebraska-raised designer has relaunched his eponymous brand for the third time in September with the hope that it will make a bigger splash than before. Many would know the designer from his heydays in early '00s when former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was taken in by his designs, choosing to wear it at more than a few public events. So what is Thakoon about in 2019, 15 years after making headlines with the fashion set? After travelling extensively and getting some renewed inspiration along the way, he’s doing things a bit differently now. Away with the premium price points and high-brow retail channels, the 45-year-old designer is now opting for a direct-to-consumer biz model and is trying a more hands-on approach which means personally sourcing raw materials and bringing the manufacturing costs down. Think knitted wool tees for US$95, cotton hooded sweatshirts for US$100, and chunky lambswool sweaters for US$225, just to name a few. And don’t think these are pieces that are going to exit the wardrobe once the season’s rotation is done; Thakoon is making season-less investment pieces you’d want to wear for the long haul.

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