The bold and colorful designs of Trina Turk have been worn by the likes of Eva Mendes, Jennifer Aniston and Eva Longoria — and now, they’re coming to a Banana Republic near you.Since the age of 11, when her mother taught her to sew, Trina Turk knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. And, much like her bold designs, she didn’t hold back, pursuing her passion with all her heart. First she studied fashion design at the University of Washington, then she honed her skills designing for various clothing companies. By 1995, she was ready to branch out on her own, debuting a playfully sophisticated collection that featured vivid hues and modern prints (now her signature look). It was immediately snapped up by luxury stores like Barneys New York, Fred Segal and Saks Fifth Avenue, and her fate was sealed. Her first eponymous boutique opened in Palm Springs, Calif., in 2002, and shops in Los Angeles, New York and Miami (among others) followed. Add in a new home collection and a menswear line, and what else do you need? How about a partnership with Banana Republic for a limited-edition, 60-piece capsule collection that’s hitting stores next month? Turk gives us the scoop on how the two brands joined forces.
American Way: What led you to design for Banana Republic?
Trina Turk: BR approached us to collaborate on a lively, colorful summer collection. They wanted color and pattern, and I thought, “They’ve come to the right place!” We knew we’d be able to ensure a certain level of quality in the fit and fabrics. Plus, BR has more than 450 stores worldwide to feature our brand.
AW: How did the design process differ for creating the BR collection versus your own?
TT: When creating our collections, we start with an inspirational theme and then build the prints, colors, fabrications and styles around that theme. We know our customer well and strive to provide her with the styling, quality and fit she expects from us. … Since this collection will be sold exclusively in BR stores, it was important to start by understanding what would work best for that customer. I worked closely with Simon Kneen, creative director for BR, to understand their customer and develop the concept for the collaboration.
AW: What were your inspirations for the BR line?
TT: Simon and I decided early on that the Palm Springs “cocktails by the pool” lifestyle would be the key inspiration. We wanted to share the most celebrated and recognizable elements of our brand, so we selected iconic Trina Turk prints and styles from our archives as the foundation and mixing, and reimagined them into this exclusive capsule. There are nearly 60 pieces of apparel and accessories in bright prints, bold colors and crisp whites that are perfect summer must-haves. I’m excited … [it’s a] collection of colorful, covetable and unique pieces.