Before silks are woven into the exquisite and delicate fabric pattern, there are many backgrounds of the magnificent potential of stories and inspiration of the designer which makes silks so full of value. I believe that everyone is familiar with “Jim Thompson” who has enhanced the unique Thai Silk made by the workmanship of Thailand which has been widely known around the world. The designer who creates the collection of home décor fabric with a variety of new trendy styles is Khun Ou Noppadol Phaholyothin, the creative director for home furnishing at Jim Thompson. His works obviously reflect Jim Thompson’s spirit and identity; and absolutely convey the taste of elite groups.
Khun Uo welcomed our staff with smiling face while he is greeting and introducing himself for a while before beginning the story. A young sexy-looking man with his deeply charming eyes told us about his primary duties is to make Jim Thompson one of the top brands of home décor fabric designers. He told us about his primary duties in managing the Jim Thompson to become one of the top brands that are recognized in the world and has become a symbol of Thai Silk. He says, “I managed to make a contribution of 2 new collections each year. About 90 % of Jim Thomson’s interior fabric are exported globally, very few are available in Thailand. In overseas markets, our sizeable Jim Thompson is one of the top brands. International interior designers always use our fabrics for their interior decoration. All brands will be launched in January, which is a Spring Collection, and there will be one more in September.”
The first new collection of 2015 is FORBIDDEN COLOURS which is like the return of Khun Ou to work in creating the products of fabrics for 2 years. The collection was inspired by the stories of colorful robes in the past which indicate of the social status of wearers. He adds, “We spent quite a long time to make this collection convey the true identity of Jim Thompson as much as possible. Because we want to convey to the consistent work that Jim Thompson had designed earlier. We want to make it completely in the same direction as what Jim Thompson had previously designed. Our highlight is to have a relatively high Asian identity. It is evident that most foreign companies will try to do a lot, some just wanted to come out as the Japanese, and some would make it out to be Indian. However, they made them as they are foreigners which are different from us. We do it as we are Thai people; I do it as a Thai a designer who knows Thai culture well, and has lived abroad for a long time. Consequently, our fabrics designed always have charms of two cultures blended into one collection”.
The young designer in a sexy look told us about his inspiration in working that “mostly, it is about what we dream to have; exactly, it must be done within the Brand Image. Whatever we make, it must be about building and remaining the brand image. It must be clarified at the first stage about what Jim Thompson is or even what Jim Thompson wants to be. Therefore, I need to create the brand image. And then we must consider about the marketing, and the products are designed to meet different kinds market. For example, our previous collections were designed to fulfill demands of the markets in California and Florida, so we focused on such fabric suitable for exterior décor as those for the resorts which are resistant to sun, rain and fungi.”
Besides being a handsome and perfect man; he is very active and has never thought that he has been successful. This way of thinking inspires him to keep walking forward and never stop working. His working philosophy is to trust others and trust himself too: “always take something with a grain of salt”. Some of designers have been working with us for 30-40 years, and they have a lot of knowledge in fabric weaving and printings. We can learn from their expert experience in particular field of works. At the meanwhile, when listen to them we need to keep in mind and think carefully. For me, I need to search and learn new knowledge around me more and more. Whatever we learn must excite us too. We must not keep us away from what we have done very well. However, we can add new things into it with perfect balance.
Recently, Khun Ou has just got back from the “Paris Deco Off 2016” where the latest Fabric collections of Jim Thompson, including interior home décors by designers and manufacturers from all corners of the world such as America, Europe and Asia. There were around 100 designers packed up at the event in France, held during 21-26 of last January. There will be the other two collections to be launched very soon. These collections are designed to put the character of Jim Thompson with a hint of Asian character into the fabric creating the distinctive difference to be recognized by world markets.
In the future, our design career will be greatly successful, with the present momentum around us; design careers will become a part of our daily life since everything will be created in everywhere. Certainly, the creative work can draw attention from others. Khun Ou gives thoughtful words for new young generations who are the field of an interior design that “the most important thing is not to be hopeless because to be in the society of interior design at present is much more different from those in the past. Previously, there were a few designers; whatever they designed were all considered good. In the contrary, the world nowadays is narrow; more people want to be in a society of designers. Many things in this world always keep changing continuously; consequently, we should be active and do not stop learning new things”.
Story : siwanats Senaprathum
Photographer : Korawit Siriwiwat