Vogue Opinion Counts

Frank Crowninshield, former editor of Vanity Fair, was an acquaintance during Thompson's years in New York and was his only connection to the fashion world.

Crowninshield was instrumental in arranging Thompson's visit to Edna Woolman Chase, then editor of Vogue and the authority on what was and was not acceptable in the world of American high fashion.


Deeply impressed by the shimmering silk draped across her desk, Chase described the fabric as a 'magnificent new discovery'. As far as Vogue opinion was concerned, Thai silk had made its debut. Soon after, Valentina, the dress designer, was photographed for Vogue in a Thai silk dress. Thompson was credited in the caption.

The results were encouraging and he returned to Bangkok feeling upbeat about the foreign market potential for Thai silk.

In early 1948, Thompson established a shop as a silk distributor. It was not a 'real' company as such but operated through an independent retail outlet, La One, which sold a range of souvenirs in addition to silk.

The following account clearly reflects the passion and the commitment he had for his craft. Paulette Goddard, the actress, was one of the guests at a dinner party that Thompson attended in Paris.

'Ms. Goddard expressed great admiration for the Thai silk suit Thompson was wearing and expressed her wish to get one like it for a gentleman friend. Without hesitation, Thompson made her a gift of the suit and returned to his hotel wearing a raincoat belonging to his host.'

Thompson's unconventional approach to selling silk combined with his formidable powers of persuasion. His silk clientele developed rapidly.