By Libby Callaway

He may be a darling of the New York fashion world, but designer Thakoon Panichgul is a Midwestern boy at heart. "Things move a little slower in Omaha," he says of his childhood home in Nebraska. "The people are so friendly, so laid-back." Panichgul moved there from Thailand (where he was born) in 1985, when he was 11 and "didn't speak a lick of English"; he later relocated to New York City, where he worked as a fashion writer for Harper's Bazaar before launching his own line, Thakoon, in 2004. While Panichgul's Corn Belt