Thakoon Panichgul loathes interns with “too much personality”.
The designer was among those to give talks at the recent Teen Vogue Fashion University event and focused on how to make it in the industry.
He likes people who are humble and willing to listen and is always surprised when newcomers aren’t that way.
“My biggest pet peeve is when interns exert too much personality,” he said. “I hate when somebody comes in and thinks they know everything. Once you get started, relationship building is the most important thing. Make sure you show respect to everyone – you never know who is going to work where.”
He also gave some surprising advice about how to break into fashion design, insisting it’s not important to have a fashion degree.
“I went to business school because that’s what my parents wanted,” he said. “I think fashion people want degrees that aren’t in fashion, like something in the liberal arts. It’s important to not just be focused on one thing.”
Joseph Altuzarra also spoke and echoed many of Thakoon’s points. He reassured students that it’s fine not to have a life plan mapped out, explaining it took him many years to figure out he wanted to be a designer. However, that doesn’t mean you can be whimsical when working.
“While working at Givenchy, Riccardo [Tisci] taught me to be very steadfast in your vision,” he recalled. “But you also have to remember that women wear bras!
“People really like things that they relate to emotionally.”
Thakoon highlighted how vital it is to find your own voice. He has an idea of the women that will wear his clothes and thinks of them when designing, explaining it is all about their “energy and sensibility”.
“I’m always looking for something that’s the opposite of what people are into because I know that’s eventually where I’ll find the inspiration,” he said.
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