Tragic news out of Southern California, as Jonathan Skow, the designer behind the label Mr. Turk and husband of designer Trina Turk, died this past weekend in Los Angeles. Skow and Turk were residents of Palm Springs, where they had moved to escape the hectic pace of living in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Skow was only 55 years old.
USA Today has reported that a swimming accident in Hawaii had left Skow paralyzed from the neck down. Before he died on Saturday, the newspaper quotes a family friend as saying Skow called his wife and family into his hospital room to say goodbye.
The Mr. Turk line of clothing — a spin-off label of Trina Turk — was known for its bright hues and bold patterns. Jonathan Skow described his designs as for men who were social and liked to entertain. While his clothes were of course not ‘designed for’ gay men, they were beloved by the gays and really helped to create and embody the idea of gay men of a certain age living their life in the SoCal desert. The Mr. Turk boutique in Palm Springs — which sold accessories and home goods in addition to day, night and beachwear — was a very popular spot.
Will Dean, editor of Desert Outlook magazine, said of Mr. Turk namesake Jonathan Skow:
“Jonathan Skow, along with his wife, designer Trina Turk, has been as much of an influence in defining Palm Springs style as anyone I can think of. Through his Mr. Turk fashion line and the way he shared his work through photography, he brought a vibrancy and sophistication to the way many people see the desert lifestyle. When I interviewed Jonathan a few years ago for Desert Outlook magazine, he spoke of how much he and Trina loved this community, and it’s evident in the business they created and the community events they supported. He’ll truly be missed.”
It was just in April that Hornet attended the launch party for a new Mr. Turk / Jonathan Adler collaboration in New York City, just in time for summer and full of sexy models. There Hornet’s Alexander Kacala spoke with Skow about how the collaboration came to be.
Watch video of that Mr. Turk event here.
Featured image via Trina Turk