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5 Questions with Fashion Designer Trina Turk

By Laura Eckstein Jones | March 4, 2020 | People

Congratulations on 25 years! What inspired you to launch your own brand? I started the company with a desire to design something I would wear myself, using better fabrics and more contemporary styling. [Until then] I had designed mostly for junior companies. I was also interested in being my own boss after having learned what not to do after working as a designer for 12 years prior to starting Trina Turk.

How has your business changed over the years? The color and print DNA of our collections remains true to our beginnings, but the business side and the way people shop have changed dramatically. E-commerce is of course much more important, and becoming a retailer ourselves has also changed the way we look at our business. We can create exclusive product for our stores and website and cater exclusively to specific client groups we have cultivated over the years.

What have some of your proudest moments been? In 2002, I was excited to open our first retail shop in Palm Springs. It’s expanded twice since then, in a low-slung midcentury storefront designed by architect Albert Frey. I loved the process of working with Kelly Wearstler to create an environment inspired by the interiors in vintage Palm Springs Life magazines. We now consider this location our flagship. The opening of our boutique helped to revitalize the neighborhood in what was then a quiet strip of Palm Canyon Drive. It’s now a thriving mix of retail and restaurants, and it’s gratifying that we had a part in that. As well, adding swimwear to the mix was so much fun from a creative standpoint—it’s the perfect combination of sexiness, resort lifestyle, graphic prints and vibrant color that added another layer to the story.


How does living in Los Angeles and Palm Springs inspire your designs, and what pieces are Angelenos going for these days? Simply being out and about with an observant eye on the climate, culture, architecture, landscape and diversity sparks so many ideas. The Theodora caftan continues to be one of our bestsellers—it showcases gorgeous prints with scarf-striped borders and can be worn as a dress, a top or a swim cover-up. Billy Porter wore one on vacation!

What’s next for you and your brand? We’re launching a capsule collection in March to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We created
two gorgeous prints and interpreted them into ready-to-wear, swimwear, the Mr. Turk line, sneakers, eyewear and other accessories. Stop by one of our Southern California boutiques to check it out. I’m also working on a book to commemorate the occasion, which will be out in the fall. Larchmont, Manhattan Beach and Palm Springs, trinaturk.com; mrturk.com



Tags: fashion

Photography by: Dewey Nicks