Exclusive Interview with Iconic Designer Trina Turk
I’m a long-time fan of Trina Turk’s designs. I have a fairly extensive collection of her shorts and dresses especially. So, you can imagine my excitement when the word on the street last year at Scottsdale Fashion Week 2018 was that she planned to open a store in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
Fast forward to 2019, and I found myself attending the grand opening of her fabulous new boutique at Scottsdale Fashion Square in the newly-renovated luxury wing near Neiman Marcus. My daughter and I met Trina at the party, who is as warm and vibrant in person as her designs. Following the event, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the iconic designer (who, by the way, is from my hometown of Bellevue, Washington and attended the same high school as my husband, small world!).
Read on for more about where Trina sees her brand and company headed, and for photos from the Scottsdale store grand opening celebration.
MSL: We’re thrilled that you’ve opened a shop in Scottsdale! What made you decide to come into this market and how did you choose Fashion Square?
We’ve had our eye on Scottsdale for several years since we’ve been successful in another desert—Palm Springs. The location in the newly-renovated wing of Fashion Square was what inspired us.
MSL: Tell us about your background. What originally inspired you to become a fashion designer?
My mom taught me how to sew at a young age. I loved the styles, the fabrics and being able to make anything I wanted. When I learned you could have a career as a designer, I decided that was what I was going to do.
MSL: The Trina Turk brand is so recognizable and successful. How did you initially start and then evolve the brand?
I started the company in 1995 after working for other companies as a designer for 12 years. At that particular time, there were many new contemporary brands starting in Los Angeles, and the market was looking to LA for newness. I wanted to design something I would wear, in better fabrications since I had been working mostly in the junior market.
MSL: Any special secret to your success?
One of the secrets to our success is that we have a strong brand identity: print, color, optimism and California inspiration. This was established early on, and continues today.
MSL: You’ve no doubt had many amazing experiences and recognitions throughout your career, is there a moment you are most proud of?
I was thrilled when we opened our first retail store in Palm Springs in 2002. It was a dream to see the clothing in a sunny, designed environment that told a story about the brand.
MSL: What has you most excited about your current spring/summer collection?
My favorite print this summer is our Rainbow print—coming in May. We create new Theodora caftans almost every month, and the prints are designed into the shape of the style by our excellent textile design team. They are truly unique and have become a signature style. I’m also really into bright yellow this season!
MSL: What’s next for the Trina Turk brand? For you on a personal level?
We are working on a book and a special capsule collection for the 25th anniversary of the company, which is next year—2020.
MSL: What three wardrobe basics do you believe every woman needs in her closet?
For Scottsdale, I would say a great fitting white pant, a beautiful printed dress or caftan, and a flattering swimsuit.
MSL: Tell us one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.
My mother is Japanese, so I’m half Asian.
Special thanks to Trina for chatting with me, and go visit her beautiful new store when you’re in Scottsdale!