Originally posted in 24 Hours Vancouver
January 14, 2014

If you’re a man who is OK with standing out, making a statement, and not shying away from pattern, you should get to know Mr Turk. They call it California dapper, we call it the reason why we come home from Palm Springs with lighter wallets.

Mr Turk, a.k.a. Jonathan Skow, is husband to modernist womenswear and accessory designer Trina Turk. The two met in 1981 and have been creating together ever since. Skow is also a stylist and celebrity photographer, shooting some of the top talents in la-la land, including Zac Efron, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alicia Keys and beyond.

The pieces are, in a word, outstanding. Put on one of his patterned jackets for a party and let the compliments pour in. Wear his tank tops or shorts on a holiday and feel “dressed up” while wearing less. As for the bathing suits, well, follow his Instagram feed and see for yourself (@mrturk, #eyecandy).

We caught up with Mr. Turk at the flagship store in downtown Palm Springs.

What got you into fashion and what keeps you there?

JS: It’s the only thing that I was ever really interested in, really. As a young man in Seattle, I would save all my money and go buy fabric and vintage clothing. Thrift stores in the late ‘70s had clothing from all eras and they got me hooked. What keeps me here? Well, I still love it. Fashion is a moving target and it’s always changing based on what’s available, my perception and how people respond. It’s really fabric that still gets my heart racing.

Who is wearing Mr Turk?

JS: A lot of guys in Palm Springs. The style here is eclectic and people are very social. It’s not for everybody, but we find that our clientele continues to expand from young to old, gay to straight. We sell to the high fashion client, but we also have the more conservative man who buys a jacket, wears it out, loves it, and comes back for more. Next thing you know they are wearing it to the office.

Where are we going in our new Mr Turk outfits?

JS: If you’re in Palm Springs you’re going to Birba for drinks and appies, Workshop for dinner, and Melvyn’s for drinks. After that, it’s all up to you.

What defines a well-dressed man?

JS: Men have it easy. Essentially, you need to be clean and make some effort in your grooming, but most men don’t try. And fit is what separates the men from the boys.

What is one piece that every man should have in their wardrobe right now?

JS: Turtlenecks are really big right now — I wear them a lot. I remember hearing a quote by Cary Grant that said, “Turtlenecks are the most flattering thing a man can wear.” In Palm Springs they bomb, but I did a few anyways.

If you could sit down one fashion icon, who would it be and why?

JS: Roy Halston. He did it all: menswear, womenswear, he licensed his name and lost it, was big in the N.Y. club scene, he was so interesting. His clothes were quite simple, but they were androgynous and sexy.

What’s next for Mr. Turk?

JS: We are wholesaling for spring and are looking at more expansion to Canadian stores. Zappos will also be carrying our line and doing a big promotion for our resort collection. They are really dialed into international shipping. Or just come visit us in Palm Springs.


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