Fashion Week El Paseo™ 2017
Colleen Quen Fashions
Gerry Maceda

Fashion Week El Paseo™ 2011
Palm Springs Eternal Designer: Trina Turk

Trina Turk considers herself lucky on two counts: First, because she knew at a fairly young age what she wanted to do when she grew up (to design clothing professionally) and, second, because she is succeeding at doing it beyond her wildest dreams.

Born in California and raised there and in the state of Washington, Trina was 11 when her mother taught her to sew. She studied apparel design at the University of Washington and took her first job with the Seattle-based sportswear manufacturer Britannia Jeans. Her next stop was Los Angeles, where she waded into a sea of 30 prints per season designing surf wear for Ocean Pacific. Other design jobs followed.

Realizing that her resume wasn't likely to bring offers to create a line of contemporary clothing for women, Turk launched her own business. In 1995, she and her husband, then stylist and now photographer Jonathan Skow, founded her eponymous company. That same year, her clothing was sold by Barney's New York, Fred Segal, and Saks Fifth Avenue. With design and production headquartered minutes from downtown Los Angeles in Alhambra, Trina Turk's wholesale sales topped $40 million in 2009.

Inspired by the multicultural mix, architecture, and landscape of Los Angeles and California, The Trina Turk Collection is full of the season's most casually sophisticated and "must have" silhouettes. Turk's philosophy is to create wearable, "optimistic" fashion that incorporates the best aspects of classic American sportswear. The collection has become know for an amazing pant fit and signature prints. Swimwear was introduced in 2007 through a license with Apparel Ventures.

Spring 2009 brought the launch of a hosiery "guest designer" line with Hue; and a printed fabric collection for the home with the venerable home furnishings manufacturer Schumacher; and Trina Turk residential products, including rugs, pillows, and tabletop textiles.

Turk has drawn constant inspiration from the cocktail party and poolside lifestyle of the desert, so it was fitting that, in 2002, Trina Turk opened a Palm Springs boutique in a modernist building designed by Albert Frey. The flagship store in Los Angeles is an airy, ladylike pink-hued space. In December 2006, Trina Turk New York opened in the meatpacking district, bringing a splash of California color to the neighborhood. Trina Turk Residential opened in May 2008 next door to the original boutique in Palm Springs. Boutiques at Fashion Island in Newport Beach and Burlingame in California and Bal Harbour shops in Miami, Fla., are the latest additions. A summertime-only shop opened in May 2010 in East Hampton, N.Y.


Palm Springs Eternal Designer: Trina Turk

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Photography by Gerry Maceda.