Is Tailoring the New Streetwear?

Designer Thakoon Panichgul has had a busy year. In September, after a two year hiatus, he successfully relaunched his namesake brand. And if that weren’t already a full-time job, this spring he introduced HommeGirls, a self-funded multi-media platform inspired by and dedicated to women who shop in the men’s department. As his second issue drops, Thakoon talks to The RealReal about his ultimate HG muse (hint, she is on the cover!), the difference between fashion and style, and why tailoring is the new streetwear.
What motivated you to launch HommeGirls?
A conversation about style, as opposed to trends. I know so many women who subscribe to the idea of wearing men’s clothes, and when I dug into it a little more, I realized that it’s something that’s quite timeless, and really about how women engaged with these simple men’s pieces…which has more to do with style than fashion. 

Designer Thakoon Panichgul

What is the HommeGirls look in three words? 
Sexy Cool Tailoring
It’s been suggested that tailoring is the new streetwear. Do you agree?
I do. I think that we are in the post streetwear phase. At this moment, tailoring feels right, especially when mixed with streetwear.
Who, in your mind, is the ultimate HommeGirl? Do you have a muse? 
Christy Turlington. She is that girl in real life; but also in terms of any iconic images that define HommeGirls, she pretty much dominates them.
Before you became a designer, you worked at fashion magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar. Presumably this experience came in handy when you set out to launch HG. Talk to us about your trajectory in fashion. 
I came into fashion by way of production at J.Crew actually. I had just moved to New York with a business degree, and figured that a big fashion brand like J.Crew could use someone with that degree who was also super into fashion. After a year or so, I jumped to Harper’s Bazaar as a friend of mine was working there and said they were looking for an assistant in the editorial dept. I didn’t want to be a writer but faked it to get in and spent 4 years there! I actually loved the experience as it gave me such a perspective on fashion, and it’s where I learned about the difference between fashion and style.

Loro Piana Coat; Raf Simons Sweater; Ralph Lauren Shirt; Giorgio Armani Trousers, all from The RealReal. Image courtesy HommeGirls.

What was the reaction to the first issue of HG? 
Immediate enthusiasm! We drummed up some energy that already existed but until HG there wasn’t a place to go for it.  
And, what has been the early reaction to the second issue? What are some of the highlights? We noticed some killer casting moves, for example. 
People are seeing it as a legitimate magazine now; they’re saying it’s their go-to magazine, which is amazing considering we’ve been live for only 4 months! Casting is definitely getting better, and that’s because these girls genuinely love the magazine and want to be a part of it.
What are your ambitions for HG beyond print? Are you trying to start a (tailored dressing) revolution?
If you look back 10, 20, 30, 40 plus years…tailoring has always existed for women. I’m just here lending a megaphone to the movement; but I do think that we are in a time where it’s more important than ever to talk about how women want to portray themselves, and owning that conversation. 
Sustainability is a trending topic in fashion right now. What role, if any, do you see HommeGirls playing on this front?
So many HommeGirls I know love vintage, especially men’s vintage. It’s really a more affordable way to get into the sensibility when you shop second hand. Also, so much of the HommeGirls style is about revisiting certain proportions…for example an ‘80s Armani jacket feels fresh right now…so this encourages shopping vintage instead of always buying new.

Brooks Brothers X Thom Browne Vest from The RealReal. Image courtesy HommeGirls.

Do you personally shop consignment? And if yes, what was your biggest score of all time?
I do. I found an original Helmut Lang bomber a few years ago, and you know it’s original because there’s a butt strap on the back of the jacket and only Helmut would do that.  
What if there’d been online consignment shopping like The RealReal—or online fashion anything for that matter!—when you were young, growing up in Nebraska. Would it have changed the way you thought about fashion?
Absolutely. I think I would have learned what’s cool that much quicker—and skipped JCPenney completely. 
Inspired to find your own HommeGirls style? Shop our editors’ men’s picks here.

Honoring heritage brands and extending the lifecycle of luxury items.