When asked about the most memorable moment in the history of Jim Thompson Europe, Managing Director Christian Schirner is transported back to the business’ launch party in 2006:
“The most special event was the unofficial opening of the JTE Showroom in Munich in 2006, picture white walls, decorated with jasmine garlands, sent on ice from Bangkok, which definitely left a lasting impression on our guests.”
Christian recently welcomed scores of prestigious guests to the showroom once more, this time to celebrate the business’ 10 year anniversary. Attendees had the opportunity to explore the showroom, (which recently underwent a renovation), and to experience musical compositions by Seth Schwarz, a classically trained violinist who merges the traditional string instrument with digital sound.
As an ode to the brand’s Asian heritage, Mangostin Asia was commissioned to create a delicious array of Thai dishes for guests to enjoy. Mangostin’s Head Chef Josef Peter was previously the culinary connoisseur for the Hilton in Bangkok, making him an expert in authentic Thai cuisine.
The evening coincided with the opening of the Munich Spring Event (MSF), an exclusive textile trade fair where luxury fabric distributors showcase their latest collections. The JTE celebrations were attended by a string of designers and architects from across Europe, and also by Eric Booth, the Assistant Managing Director of Jim Thompson, who flew in especially from Thailand.
A highlight, as always, was the window display created by Douglas Little, who flew in from the US to work on the magnificent exhibit. The grand silk elephant displayed especially for the 10 year celebrations, made solely from Jim Thompson silk, continues a series of installations Douglas has worked on for Jim Thompson worldwide. Most recently, the designer created an array of mythical creatures for our Paris showroom for this year’s Paris Deco Off, and a striking petrol blue, silk-velvet lion for the Fox Linton showroom in London.
In addition to Douglas’ work, leading furniture manufacturer Philippe Hurel showcased some of their pieces in the new and improved space, alongside stunning rugs by Tai Ping Carpets.
In light of JTE’s anniversary and grand achievement, we spoke with JTE’s Managing Director Christian Schirner, quizzing him on Jim Thompson’s European market, his projections for the future, favorite moments, and more.
What is your creative vision for JTE?
Now, after having taken care of the technical side of the business, the showroom, logistics, pricing, sales distribution, etc., we want to be more active in our role as the European ambassador of Jim Thompson. We are also excited at the prospect of inviting European clients to South East Asia, to experience the art of hand-weaving, and the brand’s unique history first hand.
What have been the highlights of JTE, or the most exciting projects in the last ten years?
There have been so many amazing events that were organized in the JTE showroom, ranging from fashion to food, to designer presentations and client workshops - it’s so difficult to mention one in particular. We had so many really impressive Jim Thompson installations at our client’s shops; we have donated meters of Jim Thompson fabrics to museums; supported art exhibitions; and represented Jim Thompson at the Munich Royal Thai Honorary Consulate-General for Bavaria and Saxony. Not forgetting our incredible journey to Thailand where the entire European team visited the production facilities in rural Pak Thong Chai, as well as the Head Office in Bangkok. So many highlights…
Where would you like to see JTE heading in the future?
Thinking globally as a brand, while reacting locally, is and always will be our mission. I also look forward to continuing to bring people from various international backgrounds together as a team, motivating and leading them – this is actually the task that I enjoy the most as MD of Jim Thompson Europe.
What is in the pipeline for JTE?
Emphasis is currently being put on product development. We have started to add well known brands to our expanding product portfolio. We have also recently extended our product offering into wallpaper and trimmings. Very soon we plan to start working with a European designer to emphasize Jim Thompson’s offering specifically to the European market - colouring will be key!
What will you do to celebrate the twentieth anniversary?
By the 20th anniversary we hope to have expanded considerably - shops, restaurants, perhaps even a hotel in Munich. Expanding our locations so as to not only invite our clients and partners to celebrate 20 years of JTE in Munich, but also to have the space to invite the local people of Munich to come and enjoy our brand and celebrate our success!
By Amelia Jim Thompson on 19 May 2017
Dao is a renowned Bangkok-based interior designer, the co-founder of her own company, and the visionary behind the recent renovation of Jim Thompson’s Bangkok Home Furnishings showroom. On top of all this she is also an adoring mother of two. We spoke to Dao to find out what inspires her and why she chose to work with Jim Thompson.
Dao originally studied Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, USA. Following her education, she worked as an interior designer for Woodman Design Group in Boston Massachusetts, and then Brennan Beer Gorman Monk in New York. In 2001 she decided to return to her native Thailand and took up the esteemed position of Design Director for The Premier Group’s luxury resorts; Rayavadee (in Krabi), Tamarind Village (Chiang Mai), and a recently-acquired hotel, tentatively named Raya Heritage (also in Chiang Mai). Dao is also the co-founder of Quattro Design, a furniture showroom where clients can purchase beautiful curated, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and home accessories, handpicked from leading manufacturers around the globe, or specially made in-house.
You co-founded your own company, tell us more about Quattro Design
I established Quattro Design with three friends nearly a decade ago, opening a space in Bangkok to stock finely crafted furnishings. Last year, our company revealed a new, expansive Quattro Design show space in Phuket.
How would you describe your work/design philosophy?
I think I have very eclectic taste in design. I love mixing; i’m in love with the elements of nature, rich textures, vibrant colours and mixing contemporary and vintage, something old with something new. I want to create a story and give life to a space. I like my designs to be unpredictable.
What inspires your interior decoration choices?
My inspiration is everywhere, especially when I travel and get to visit the workspaces of artisans and craftsmen around the world. There is no better inspiration for design than travel and exposure to different cultures and environments.
Why Jim Thompson?
Curating the Jim Thompson rooms at the showroom came naturally for me. I love patterns, vibrant hues and rich textures and Jim Thompson has it all, sophisticated colour, strong silhouettes.. I love that I can juxtapose pieces from different eras in history, or genres of style.
Tell us a bit more about the decisions behind your design choices at the new Jim Thompson showroom:
I used a lot of antiques or one-of-a-kind pieces for this project, reupholstering them using different techniques, as well as curating many customized pieces to maximize the versatility of JT fabrics. In this project, I combined not only the old and the new, but elements of the formal and the casual in new ways that feel right for today.
See more pictures of Dao’s work on the Jim Thompson showroom, Bangkok in our previous post. Aside from Dao’s work on the renovation, Jim Thompson have also collaborated with Quattro Design on multiple occasions, using their up-market designs for our biannual photoshoots and brochures.
By Amelia Jim Thompson on 6 Apr 2017
28 March 2017
This March Jim Thompson Home Furnishings celebrated the completion of the months-long renovation of our Bangkok Fabric Showroom.
An incredible transformation from PHTAA Living Design Studio now sees the third and fourth floors open plan, brimming with natural light, and walls adorned with a cool sculpturesque marble. Renowned interior designer, Vichada (Dao) Sikatalin, perfectly captured the essence of Jim Thompson’s identity and unique style by creating five rooms on the third floor, all showcasing Jim Thompson fabrics in situation. Entitled, ‘Opulent Vogue’; ‘Hamptons Dynasty’; ‘Midnight Orient Odyssey’; Forbidden Colours’; and ‘Tropical Colonial’, each space has its own theme and colour scheme. The room sets incorporate fabrics solely from Jim Thompson collections, from the classics to ‘Leo de Janeiro’, the latest offering, designed by Creative Director Ou Baholyodhin.
PHTAA created an art space on the third floor, which already houses the first exhibition, “Renaissance” designed by Sarin Tgamol. Sarin worked with natural materials to create a tree sculpture that plays on the concept of rebirth. The tree is filled with a selection of exotic birds, made solely from recycled Jim Thompson fabric.
The fourth floor is dedicated to our No.9 Thompson, Fox Linton and Studio B lines, but also features fabrics and wallcoverings from European brands, Elitis and Gaston y Daniela.
To celebrate this renovation Jim Thompson hosted a party at the showroom, which was attended by our directors; designers and the rest of the home furnishings team; the Thai press; European designers; as well as many friends of the brand. Delicious canapés were prepared by the talented Chef Num from Samuay & Sons, and the champagne flowed throughout the evening. Thank you to all those in attendance, who made the event an overwhelming success.
By Amelia Jim Thompson on 28 Mar 2017
8 March 2017
Model and designer Philip Huang hosted a presentation and dinner earlier this month in aid of the launch of his first fashion collection, "Collection 0, #isandreams’’. Held at a modern private loft-space in Chinatown, New York, the event was inspired by Thai and traditional Isan culture. Jim Thompson supported the launch with fabrics from the latest January Collection. Jim Thompson fabrics were featured as atmospheric floor cushions, chic drapery, and as luxury napkins, adding to the Thai-inspired theme. The presentation focused on the ethos and main inspirations behind Philip’s brand, with an introduction to Isan culture; following this guests were invited to enjoy traditional North-eastern Thai food including papaya salad prepared by Michelin star restaurant Somtum Der. The meal was served in a customary Asian style with guests seated comfortably on Jim Thompson floor cushions, allowing attendees to enjoy the authentic Thai ambience.
After 10 years of experience in the fashion industry Philip Huang wanted to create something of his own, a collection of essentials ideal for travel, wearable in the city or on the beach. “Isan dreams is a transportable world that can bring us anywhere” says Philip. Inspired by the idea that in dreams anything is possible, Isan Dreams is Philip’s capsule collection, shaped by multiple visits to Sakon Nakhon in Thailand, a city within the culturally rich Isan region and renowned for the Indigo cloth the “Indigo Grandmas” produce there. This concept of “journeying” was reflected in the event space where the collection was launched, walking into the heritage building located on the Lower East Side, guests were immediately confronted with a busy Szechuan restaurant called Flaming Kitchen; whilst in the elevator they might bump into someone all dressed up on their way to the Karaoke bar that occupies another floor. Essentially, guests experience a literal journey to arrive at Isan Dreams.
The exhibition occupied two units, rented off of Peerspace, these units were connected by a narrow corridor decorated with neon lights to create a transitional feel, allowing guests to move freely between each space. The presentation was held in the first loft, a space brimming with the owners personal collection of beautiful artifacts, sourced from all over the world. The transitional passageway led guests to the second loft, where the family style dinner, accompanied by a short film on the journey to Isan, took place. Jim Thompson fabrics from the new collections “Leo de Janeiro” and “Negresco” could be found throughout the apartments, Philip said: ‘we couldn't have done it without the help of Jim Thompson, it’s always amazing to work with people you look up to’.
Guests wandered through the exhibition freely, spending time in each area where four different ‘looks’ were created, each worn by four different models. Each model participated in a different activity, these ranged from getting a foot massage (foot massage machines were also available for guests), to writing letters using indigo ink, riding a bike, while the fourth model relaxed in a hammock. To add to the Thai theme, a screening of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor was shown and Molam, traditional Isan music, was played. Speaking on the event, Philip said, ‘there was definitely a lot to explore, what I really love is that guests could now visit Isan and would feel an instant sense of familiarity.’
The event was attended by well known designers, writers, Huang’s modeling co-workers and creative friends. Guests included Cecilia Dean (Visionaire), Patrick Li (TMagazine), Chris Bollen (Interview), Waris Ahluwalia (designer and actor), Elizabeth Sulcer (stylist), Ivan Bart (IMG), and Korakrit Arunanondchai (artist), to name a few.
Philip Huang is currently planning a summer party in July to run alongside Men’s Fashion Week NY.
By Amelia Jim Thompson on 8 Mar 2017
Douglas Little behind the scenes working on the Jim Thompson window display for this year’s Paris Deco Off at the Jim Thompson Showroom.
By Amelia Jim Thompson on 7 Mar 2017