Bangkok, Thailand, November 24, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The grand opening of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter has successfully marked a significant milestone in Jim Thompson’s journey towards becoming the first iconic global lifestyle brand from Asia. The grand event underscoring Jim Thompson’s new tagline, ‘Beyond Silk,’ showcased a dazzling fusion of fashion, art, and gastronomy, reaffirming the brand’s commitment to excellence and innovation. The spectacular opening saw the attendance of several renowned Thai celebrities, including Pruk “Zee” Panich, Chawarin “Nunew” Perdpiriyawong, Thitiya “Baipor” Jirapornsilp, Jumpol “Off” Adulkittiporn, Atthaphan “Gun” Phunsawat and Vasin “Ko” Assawanarunat. Also among the guests were top management from Central Group, King Power, One Bangkok and Siam Piwat.
In a dazzling display of cultural fusion and modern flair, the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter has officially opened its doors, marking a transformative moment for the legendary brand – forging ahead to become the first iconic global lifestyle brand from Asia. The grand opening, graced by celebrities and punctuated by a fashion showcase of unrivalled creativity, celebrated the new ‘Beyond Silk’ ethos. This destination is now poised to draw visitors from across the globe, setting a new standard for flair and ingenuity in the heart of Thailand.
A state-of-the-art 360-degree video camera captured the breath-taking ambience of the evening in full panoramic glory. Jim Thompson Home Furnishings fabrics were on display, merging the rich legacy of signature designs with contemporary style to craft a unique atmosphere. The evening’s entertainment commenced with the enchanting ‘Silk Fabric Dance’, an artistic performance that elegantly wove movement and textiles. As the drum spectacle unfolded, the dancers’ costumes, masterfully created using Jim Thompson’s silk, showcased the delicate intricacy and exquisite beauty of Thai silk to all present.
The fashion show, a centrepiece of the event, unveiled 42 captivating looks that established a new benchmark for creativity and sophistication. The Jim Thompson collection unveiled a versatile range, bridging the gap between relaxed beachwear and the sophistication of everyday wear for work or travel. The highlight was the dramatic reveal of the last look – ‘Look 42’ – a testament to the enduring innovation, artistry, and heritage that Jim Thompson is celebrated for. The show’s pinnacle look paid homage to regal sophistication with the Ikat Silk/Metallic Jacquard Gown, inspired by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s iconic Thai silk gown. The showstopper gown was a masterful rendition of Jim Thompson’s exquisite metallic and golden silk fabrics, offering a modern take on Thai tradition for the discerning aesthete. Accompanying the fashion show was an artful selection of songs which chronicled the company’s journey since the 1950s each emblematic of its era, and deeply connected to key moments in the brand’s history and to its founder, Mr. Thompson.
Culinary artistry was at the forefront with a menu designed by the executive chef of Jim Thompson, A Thai Restaurant offering an array of signature dishes. The O.S.S. Bar showcased its celebrated mixologists with meticulously crafted drinks. These unique epicurean experiences not only showcased the brand’s unwavering dedication to delivering exquisite dining experience but also set the stage for an unforgettable after party held at The Moonlight Hall, featuring a line-up of DJs and the admired Thai band – Nisatiwa.
Frank Cancelloni, Group CEO at Jim Thompson, reflected on the event’s success, stating, “The grand opening of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter was a celebration of our heritage and a declaration of our future. It represents a pivotal moment as we embark on our mission to become Asia’s first iconic global lifestyle brand. We are proud to showcase Thailand’s rich cultural tapestry to the world through our diverse offerings. We have taken on the important task of making the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter the newest Lifestyle Destination in Bangkok. In pursuit of this vision, Jim Thompson is actively evolving and broadening our enterprise across all fronts, forming strategic collaborations with local and international brands. We are determined to offer a comprehensive experience, ranging from art and culture to gastronomy, fashion, interior, design, and beyond, tailored to meet the eclectic lifestyles of all our guests. Our goal is to maintain our position as the leading iconic lifestyle brand from Asia and a destination of international renown.”
Multitude of attractions within the Heritage Quarter: At the core of the Heritage Quarter lies the Jim Thompson House Museum, an intact collection of six traditional teak structures, relocated from various parts of Thailand by Jim Thompson in the late ’50s to form his residence. Post his mysterious disappearance in 1967, the residence was transformed into a museum showcasing his vast collection of Southeast Asian art. The Museum About the Man offers an exhibition drawn from the James H.W. Thompson Foundation archives, chronicling Thompson’s life and his profound impact on the Thai silk industry, from his architectural beginnings in the US to becoming the “King of Thai Silk.” It also traces the journey of Jim Thompson textiles from high fashion to international acclaim, alongside a display of vintage Jim Thompson dresses from the 1960s.
The Home Furnishings exhibition titled ‘The Evolving world of Jim Thompson Textiles’ recounts the evolution of textiles produced by Thai Silk Company Limited post-Thompson. With its visually arresting cinnabar-hued interiors, the Iconic Store offers a comprehensive retail experience across ready-to-wear, accessories and exclusive home collections. Inspired by Thompson’s love for Thai craftsmanship, the design features a rich palette and free-flowing architecture, leading customers through two levels of high-quality textiles and collaborative projects. Finally, the Jim Thompson Art Center, under The James HW Thompson Foundation, stands as a cultural nexus for local and international art communities, hosting a regular line-up of exhibitions, special programs, discussions and seminars, fostering art in social context and cultural exchanges within its walls and beyond.
The Culinary Landscape at Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter promises to become a food connoisseur’s paradise. Jim Thompson, A Thai Restaurant, has undergone a vibrant transformation, aiming to become a cornerstone of modern Thai cuisine with its creative menu offering an inventive twist to classic flavours through an enticing à la carte menu. The O.S.S. Bar is situated directly above the restaurant, and is a seamless fusion of old-world charm and modern vibes. Its speakeasy ambience, a blend of retro chic and contemporary elegance, provides an atmospheric setting for evening gatherings and relaxed get-togethers fuelled by perfectly crafted cocktails. By day, this space transforms into The O.S.S. Room, a serene setting that overlooks a koi pond and rich foliage of Jim’s garden making it an ideal backdrop for an afternoon tea. Not to be overlooked, Jim’s Terrace presents an array of tapas complemented by a curated beer and wine list.
Meanwhile, Silk Café offers a more casual vibe, serving sandwiches alongside hot and cold beverages in a spirited, al fresco setting. Completing the F&B offerings is The Moonlight Hall, perfect for grander occasions, combining state-of-the-art technology in a setting that exudes authentic Thai charm, ideal for corporate events, weddings, and private gatherings.
This new lifestyle quarter provides a dynamic space where history, art, culture, cuisine and retail experience converge, reflecting Jim Thompson’s vision of crafting a global destination that celebrates the essence of Thai heritage and modernity. The success of Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter’s grand opening has set the stage for the brand to continue its evolution as a leader in the global lifestyle sector with this new venture as a vibrant lifestyle destination, drawing both international and domestic tourists to the heart of Thailand.
About Jim Thompson
No brand spells heritage like Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk Company founded in 1951 by James H.W. Thompson, an architect, art collector, socialite, and entrepreneur who is recognized as the driving force behind the revival of Thailand’s silk industry. Jim Thompson’s disappearance remains one of Southeast Asia’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries. Today, Jim Thompson is the iconic global lifestyle brand from Thailand with a reputation for beautiful silks and “Beyond Silk”.