Trina Turk’s Inspiration & Trends

Trina Turk Fabrics

Trina Turk first came onto my radar when I spotted her wonderfully colorful, vintage inspired geometric prints, and all-round cheerful pillow, bedding and textile designs. I wanted to know more about this talented fashion, textile and homewares designer so was thrilled to meet her recently at the California Home and Design Magazine event at the San Francisco Design Centre.

With her cropped black bob, severe bangs (reminiscent of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction) and beautifully put together vintage clothes and jewelry, my first impression was that Trina Turk oozes style and 60′s glamour.  There is an effortless elegance, and individuality about her. That strong sense of identity comes across in both her fashion and residential lines, making her the successful lifestyle brand she is today.

Image: Trina Turk in her Residential Boutique, Palm Springs. Fabric on Sofa – Trina Turk, Peacock Print for Schumacher 


When asked about trends Trina says:

If you let trends guide you too much you lose site of who you are as a brand. There are always a number of trends per season to choose from but some are suitable and some are not suitable for your brand.  The trend I see coming is the idea that interiors are more changeable in the same way fashion is changeable. The idea that you decorate your house and leave it like that for 30 years, is over. People want to freshen things up just the same way that in fashion you change your shoes, your handbag and your jewellery. The speed of change in the fashion industry is ever so slightly seeping into interiors.”

Trina’s design inspiration & how it all began

Trina credits her Japanese mother for having a big influence on her regarding fashion.

“She is a very creative person and made lots of things including our clothes, crafts for the house and Christmas decorations.”   

It was at the early age of eleven that Trina began poring over fashion magazines and knew then, fashion was her calling. At the same age, her mother gave her the invaluable gift, teaching her to sew.  Her first job with the Seattle-based sportswear manufacturer Britannia Jeans was followed by Ocean Pacific (OP) the surfboard brand for 12 years prior to starting Trina Turk Designs.  Trina says:

“It was at OP that I started to learn to work with print and textiles.  At the time I was just doing it, but wasn’t really thinking of it as something that would become important later.  It was in the 80′s and it was during the time of airbrushed tropical prints, so there was a lot of textile work with print and color. This has now become a really important part of what I do.”

Trina says her hobbies and interests in some way influence her designs. 

“I love architectural tours, films, going to museums, and although don’t experience it that often, I think nature and natural organic forms are very important to the prints we do. Vintage shopping is also a huge hobby of mine and particularly design from the 60′s and 70′s.” 

Images: Trina Turk Clothing Collection

When launching her fashion line she wanted to create clothes that were flattering to women, making sure they fitted a lot of body types and heights. Trina says she was able to distinguish herself because of the custom prints she did.

Trina also draws inspiration from the cocktail party and poolside lifestyle of the desert, so it was fitting that the first Trina Turk boutique opened in Palm Springs, California in a modernist building designed by Albert Frey. Other stores followed in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Burlingame, Florida, Miami, Dallas, East Hampton and New York. This once clothing only label has rapidly grown into a full lifestyle brand incorporating fashion, home and accessories.

Trina Turk’s Residential Line

Trina’s residential collection happened organically when she stared making pillows out of their regular fabric to use as props for her fashion photo shoots.  After the photo shoots were over they put the pillows in the boutique and they sold really quickly. Trina says 

“originally it was just a way to get rid of these pillows but then it became this thing where we thought, well maybe we should do something about this. So we started to make them more regularly and when a floor space next to our original boutique in Palm Springs came available we decided to use it for our Trina Turk Residential range. Our idea was to take the print and color concept and translate it into home.”  

The Turk residential collection now includes rugs, pillows, bedding and tabletop textiles.

Images: Trina Turk Residential Collection and Palm Springs Boutique


Not satisfied with her residential products only being used indoors she and her husband embarked on numerous tests at her Los Angeles home to see how her pillows would stand up to the Californian Summer.

“We were thinking about doing some type of fabric line that would address the issue that you can’t use 100% cotton canvas fabric outdoors because it fades.” 

The result of this was a Trina Turk indoor/outdoor fabric collection for Schumacher featuring beautiful and durable prints and wovens that reflect the fashion designer’s love of vintage apparel, pattern and vivid color. All the designs have been drawn from the large archive of prints from her apparel line.  New woven fabrics are made using Sunbrella® branded solution so perfectly durable to withstand even the hottest Palm Spring’s Summer.

Images: A selection from the Trina Turk Indoor/Outdoor fabric collection for Schumacher 

I can’t wait to see what’s next to come in Trina’s residential line . With such a good eye for vintage finds, I would love to see a collection of one off vintage pieces or maybe even a range of glassware, ceramics and decorative wall art.  What do you think?

Trina says:

“Design matters if it matters to you.  

It makes life more interesting and more pleasant. 

In small ways it makes your life more beautiful.”

…and I couldn’t agree more!


Image Credits: Trina Turk and Schumacher

Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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One Response to “Trina Turk’s Inspiration & Trends”
  1. Great colors and prints. They remind me Missoni collecions. It feels some spirit of Italy some la dolce vita! Very juicy and colorful!

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