Print. Color. Optimism. California. When asked to boil down the essential elements of the Trina Turk brand, these four descriptors trickled effortlessly off the designer’s tongue. Passionately described as the touchstones of her brand, these four elements paved the way traditionally for the label – transforming it from just womenswear in 1995, to a now multi-tiered lifestyle destination. Spanning swimwear, accessories, home décor, and menswear, we must ask: Could she possibly do anymore?
Pushing 11 collections a year, multiple storefronts across the nation, and a designer hubby behind the Mr. Turk label – it’s safe to say that Trina Turk has it all. Visiting her Highland Park boutique this week to commemorate the brand’s 20th anniversary, the colorful designer chatted with us about the memorable milestone, and of course her limited edition capsule collection inspired by the fête. But wait, there’s more.
Casually lounging on a decorative couch in-store and exuding all things Cali-chic, the candid designer scooped her three summer must-haves for 2015, amongst much more. With an affinity for textiles, fabrics, prints and color, read on as we toast to Trina Turk’s 20 years, and celebrate the depths of fashion as the woven, essential fabric of her life.
DFW Style Daily: So, first things first! Congratulations on 20 years. How does it feel to have reached such an incredible milestone in your career?
Trina Turk: “Twenty years went very quickly. To be honest, when I started my idea of what I was doing, it was quite modest. I wasn’t really thinking about stores per se, and I was really only thinking about a small womenswear collection. So the fact that we’ve evolved into other categories such as swimwear, home, and Mr. Turk is amazing.”
If you could pinpoint one thing as factoring into your success, what would that be?
“This industry is pretty intense. I guess it’s the idea that I really love fashion and textiles. The textiles are very interesting to me and its fun. If I wasn’t doing this for a living, then I still would be involved somehow with fabric and textiles…it’s just what I gravitate towards. Going down the aisles of fabric stores [as a kid] was just like a candy store to me.”
In honor of the label’s 20th anniversary, you released a limited edition capsule collection. What can you tell us about the collection?
“We did a capsule collection for spring/summer. The print that we chose is called Tahitian floral. We did it in dresses and in our swimwear, and we did a couple of jewelry pieces that were tied in to this print. We [also] did a special hangtag and label for our 20thanniversary capsule group. We’re also doing another new print in the second half of the year for the holiday season. It’s a really gorgeous, deep, moody floral print. We’ve been doing these oversized florals, and our customers have been responding really well to them, so we are continuing them…for the fall and the holiday.”
Twenty years is such an incredible milestone for what could be a short-lived career for some. How do you keep the Trina Turk brand modern and fresh?
“The main thing for me is that I’m excited about print; I’m excited about color; and I’m excited about textiles. We do 11 collections a year, and what it really is, is putting together prints and fabrics within each collection that speak to each other, are friends with each other, and enhance each other. I just love fabric!
“To keep it fresh — if you’re a designer, you have to be engaged in the culture, you have to be engaged in pop culture, you have to go to the museums, and you have to read the news. You have to know what’s going on in the world in order to remain current. Be inspired by observing the world.”
What advice might you give to fashion designers who are looking to reach similar heights in their career such as yours?
“The most important thing is to stick to who you are. There’s so much information out there now about different fashion trends. It’s almost an overwhelming amount of information. So for the Trina Turk brand our touchstones are Print, Color, Optimism, and California. As a designer you’ll see a bunch of trends and think ‘This is cool,’ but then you’ll need to pull back and say but ‘Is it Trina Turk?’”
Speaking of prints and color, what’s your go-to method of successfully styling mixed prints?
“The most important thing is for there to be one or two colors in common between the two prints. It often works to do a floral (for example in red and blue), then to do a blue and white polka dot or a red and white polka dot along with it. It’s [mixing] a simpler print with a more complicated print. For example, if you mix a two-color simple pattern with a multi-color more complicated pattern – then that works. There has to be a commonality between the two.”
As we head into the summer months and heat, what are 3 key items that you feel should be in every summer wardrobe?
“A caftan of some sort is really important. We have a whole assortment of them — silk, swimwear fabric, and cotton-gauze embroidered caftans. The other item for people to consider is the one-piece swimsuit. This year we’ve really seen a shift in people wearing one-pieces. There’s a sort of elegance in a one-piece suit. It’s not really about age or your figure, so it’s cool to wear a one-piece. Lastly, a must-have is a printed short. We have a short called the Corbin short and it’s in a million different patterns. It’s our number one seller.”
Lastly, as we ask with all of our designer interviews, what draws you to the Dallas market?
“In Dallas, the customer is not afraid to look pretty. There’s a femininity to the customer in Dallas. She likes color and she’s not afraid to look pretty, so that’s why we do well here.”