Thakoon Panichgu, born in Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand) is a Thai-American fashion designer. Panichgul moved to the United States with his family when he was 11 years old, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. His clothing has been worn by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, who wore a floral dress by Panichgul on the evening her husband, Barack Obama, accepted the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.
Panichgul attended High School at Bellevue West (Nebraska) and as a DECA member, attending the international DECA conference in 1993 in Orlando, Florida. After graduating from Boston University in 1997 with a business degree, he moved to New York. As a fashion writer, Panichgul developed an interest in designing, and he eventually pursued formal studies at Parsons School of Design from 2001 to 2003. In September 2004, Panichgul produced his first ready to wear collection and became recognized by fashion press, editors and stylists, and celebrities like Rachel Bilson, Demi Moore, Michelle Obama, and Sarah Jessica Parker. In 2007 he produced a fashion line for The Gap after being singled out by Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine, as chronicled in the 2009 American documentary film, The September Issue. His designs have been described as “timelessly feminine” and “as romantic and sensual as they are modern and innovative.” He produced a well-received limited-edition clothing line at Target in early 2009.
Panichgul’s collection has been described as “forward-looking, respectful of the past, and not at all vintage. In fact, his delicate deconstructions are entirely modern, owing more to the Antwerp Six than to Vionnet. Though his collection might be perfect for a modern Madame de Pompadour, it would suit an L.A. starlet just as well.”
Thakoon will also be featured in the new fashion reality series, ‘So You Wanna be a Designer,’ put on by the Kenmore Live Studio in downtown Chicago. Thakoon will serve as a special celebrity guest on the April 7th show airing on Facebook.com/Kenmore at 6:45pm CST on the Be a Designer link.