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Jim Thompson CEO Frank Cancelloni poses for a portrait at the Jim Thompson Museum in Bangkok. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca)
Business Spotlight

Thai silk icon Jim Thompson vows COVID comeback as global brand

Household name in silk can be Asia's version of Ralph Lauren, says CEO

TOYOAKI FUJIWARA, Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Headquarters for Asia | Thailand

BANGKOK -- When James Harrison Wilson Thompson -- better known as Jim Thompson -- first set foot on Thai soil as an operative for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in 1945, he surely never imagined one day returning to the kingdom and settling in, nor devoting himself to saving the country's silk industry from extinction.

Though Thompson mysteriously went missing in the woods of Malaysia's Cameron Highlands in 1967, his Thai silk company survived, successfully sailing through tough times such as Thailand's repeated coups and the Asian financial crisis. But the Thai fashion brand that bears his name now faces new threats that it hopes to conquer with a recently appointed CEO. 

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