West coast meets east coast with the recent opening of the Trina Turk boutique in Bal Harbour Shops. The quintessential California designer is in town this week to toast the opening of her new shop, which not only houses her whimsical women’s apparel — but swim, accessories, beach goodies and home furnishings, too. A celeb fave amongst the likes of Eva Longoria Parker, Jennifer Garner, Isla Fisher and Taylor Swift, we talked up Turk about work, play and being fierce in the fickle world of fashion.
What stands out most from your childhood? I was born in San Francisco and spent my early childhood in San Jose, California. Our tract house had a sunken living room, Danish modern furniture and lots of big sliding glass doors out to the backyard. The aesthetic of that time and the idea of “California living” really sunk in.
When did you have that aha! moment when you realized designing was the career path for you? In high school.
Your mother taught you how to sew at age 11. How did she influence you? My mother is not a designer, but she’s a very creative person who exercised her creativity throughout our household in her cooking, gardening, knitting, sewing and crafting. She was always quite fashionably dressed as well.
Before creating your eponymous ready-to-wear women’s line, what jobs could one spot on your résumé? I designed a casual sportswear collection for Anne Cole and a junior and girls line for OP (Ocean Pacific). I learned a lot about how to do work with color combinations for prints at OP and learned about swimwear at Anne Cole.
How did launching your line come about? After working for years designing junior lines, I wanted to design something that I would actually wear myself. The desire to work with better fabrications was a definite impetus, as was seeing if I could make it with my own label.
Your company was born in 1995, what is the main inspiration? The main inspiration for Trina Turk is the landscape, architecture and climate of California.
Describe the Trina Turk woman. She loves fashion and is not afraid of color and print. She also appreciates quality fabric and expects a great fit.
What’s the biggest fashion faux pas women tend to make? Sticking to rules that their mother told them that may or may not be right, and wearing clothing that doesn’t fit properly.
When in doubt, what should one wear? Wear something you know looks great on you and that you feel comfortable in.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you. I’m half Japanese.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? An interior designer.
Book: Anything by Dawn Powell
Shoe: Metallic Indian sandals
Vice: Bittersweet chocolate