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Q&A With Designer Trina Turk

Trina Turk beach style

Inspired by her love of Palm Springs and mid-century modern architecture, the designer shares what’s next and her newest boutique opening in Scottsdale.

Full of pretty prints and artfully cool, Trina Turk’s designs are anything but demure. The playful, modern collection of men and women’s resort wear is a nod to the quintessentially cool California lifestyle.

Turk’s pieces are vibrant, luxurious, yet easy going. Beyond just fashion, the line also includes swimwear, accessories, and home goods too, with an impressive range of 11 new collections each year.

We caught up with LA-based designer, who is opening a new boutique at Scottsdale Fashion Square next month, to chat about her love for fashion design and all things Trina Turk.

Trina Turk headshot

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PALM SPRINGS?
It’s a quick getaway from Los Angeles for my husband and I and once you get there you automatically feel relaxed. I mean, of course the desert air has a lot to do with it, but also it’s a combination of the landscape which is a very unusual dramatic landscape. We’re fans of mid-century modern architecture, so the combination of the mid-century architecture with the landscape, it makes it really interesting.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO OPEN A BOUTIQUE IN SCOTTSDALE NEXT?
We’ve been successful in Palm Springs and Palm Desert and the lifestyle in Scottsdale is really similar. The climate, the way people dress, there’s lots of events and activities so we just thought it made sense to try another desert location.

WILL YOU HAVE THE SAME GOODS AS YOUR OTHER BOUTIQUES OR WILL IT BE SPECIFICALLY TAILORED TO SCOTTSDALE?
Each one of our stores has an assortment that’s tailored to the location. We will offer a similar selection to what we offer in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS?
The part that is most interesting to me is actually working on the print, the color and the selection of textiles that we use. Each delivery you want to select colors and prints and fabrications that all work together and can work back and forth. So the fabric is actually the fun part for me, and the styling as well. But my real passion is the fabric.

Photo by Jonathan Skow

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR SELECTING THESE FABRICS?
We work with fabric companies from all over the world: France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, India, China, Japan. We regularly see what the fabric companies are doing and a lot of the inspiration does come from fabric, but you know, we could also be inspired by a museum exhibit— anything could spark inspiration.

Living in Los Angeles, there’s a lot going on and I think that just being here and being out in the city provides lots of inspiration.

HOW DO YOU REFUEL YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY?
I don’t have the luxury of being able to go on an inspiration trip for every collection because we do 11 collections per year, so it’s really about being in touch with what’s going on in the world and especially in the art world, the design world and keeping your eyes open.

Living in Los Angeles, there’s a lot going on and I think that just being here and being out in the city provides lots of inspiration.

Photo by Jonathan Skow

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE ARE YOU WORKING ON THESE COLLECTIONS?
It’s about a year. Right now we’re finishing up what will be in the stores next February and March and we are working on other collections that come after that up until what will be in the store July of 2019.

We’re always working on multiple collections at the same time; one thing is in production and another thing is in fabric development and another thing, you know, we’re just starting to think about what the fabrics will be. It is very fast paced.

Photo by Jonathan Skow

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TOP PICKS FROM THE SUMMER COLLECTION?
Right now we are loving the color yellow; it’s been doing very well for us both as a solid and in prints. We have a lace fabrication that has a scalloped fringe on it and we have a cotton-slub fabric that we do trousers and dresses in that has a nice surface texture.

Cross-hatch chambray is a fabrication that’s been doing great for us. It’s a linen-blend chambray that has a surface texture to it and we wash it down and it’s very kind of soft, drapey and easy for summer.

One thing that’s new on the floor is a bandana print inspiration, we’ve been doing a lot of scarf print inspirations that have sort of striped borders and it’s something that we do that maybe differentiates us a little bit because we can do these kind of complicated placed prints where the print is designed specifically for the garment that it’s being made into.

Fall for Trina Turk is not heavy, we like to keep it bright and keep the optimistic vibe that is part of our brand identity.

CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE PREVIEW ABOUT THE FALL COLLECTION?
Fall for Trina Turk is not heavy, we like to keep it bright and keep the optimistic vibe that is part of our brand identity. So there’s definitely color, the color just gets a little bit deeper.

The fabrications are still light so you can wear them in fall and beyond. Fall actually hits the floor in July, August and September, which are pretty much the hottest months of the year across the country. We’ve started approaching it as much more of a “wear now” concept. We’re keeping the weights of the fabric light so that you could wear it right then.

Trina Turk - Flower Suit

Photo by Jonathan Skow

I LOVE THAT. I MEAN, WE LIVE IN ARIZONA AND OUR FALL IS PRETTY WARM.
Yeah, you know, in Palm Springs it really doesn’t cool off until November, so we definitely keep that in mind. You know, we’re doing some flats that have a fall feeling, but they’re lighter in weight. We’re doing a lot of prints which are on lightweight fabrications, they’re just deeper tones. This collection was very much inspired by our neighbors in Mexico so there’s some tile prints and just some sort of reds and burgundys and florals.

15 Qs WITH TRINA TURK

LAST BOOK YOU READ?

A Year in the World

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Chocolate, dark chocolate

IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL?

A dolphin

FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOT?

Sqirl in Los Angeles

WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?

Phoebe Cates

MORNING OR NIGHT PERSON?

Morning

WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?

Not having something to read

THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF:

Optimistic, consistent, Angeleno

WHAT’S A FASHION TREND THAT YOU JUST DON’T GET?

Wearing black leggings as if they were pants

DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS?

Diana Vreeland, Claire Falkenstein

LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?

Kiss of the Spiderwoman

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee

SUNSET OR SUNRISE?

Sunset

BEER OR WINE?

Wine

WHO DO YOU CONSIDER ICONIC?

Charles and Ray Eames, iconic California designers

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