Goodbye to Fashion Designer Jonathan Skow AKA Mr. Turk
Jonathan Skow, fashion designer and photographer known to many in the Coachella Valley and across the globe as Mr Turk, died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to an obituary released by a spokesperson for his wife, designer Trina Turk.* He was 55.
Skow was paralyzed a few weeks ago from the neck down during a swimming accident in Hawaii. He recently called his wife and his family into his room to say goodbye, Palm Springs City Council member and family friend J.R. Roberts said.
Jonathan Skow, the fashion designer behind Mr Turk, passed away in Los Angeles on Friday at the age of 55, after a swimming accident in Hawaii left him paralyzed from the neck down.
“He was an amazing human being and I am heartbroken,” Roberts, who has known the couple for 17 years, said in a text message. Skow and Turk were “a beautiful couple,” he added.
Perhaps no one has defined the Palm Springs look more than Turk and Skow, who met at the University of Washington. Skow told Palm Springs Life he always wanted to be in fashion and would photograph Turk’s clothes.
December 22, 1962 — October 12, 2018
Jonathan Skow’s big, beautiful life ended on Friday, October 12, 2018 in Los Angeles with his family by his side. He was doing what he loved, bodysurfing in the ocean, when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury on Labor Day in Hawaii. He dealt boldly and bravely with the severity of his injury.
The accident was preceded by “an extraordinary life,” in his own words. He was 55.
The quintessential bon vivant, his generosity, infectious zest for life, boisterous laugh, wit and bold glasses were signature trademarks. The world loved his exuberance and positive outlook, as he lit up spirits and shared his joy abundantly. His friends galore adored him.
Jonathan was born to Harold and Barbara Skow in Seattle, WA, and his childhood was spent in Horizon View and on Lake Sammamish. At the University of Washington, he met his wife of 33 years and kindred spirit, Trina Turk, in a textile science class.
Jonathan and Trina migrated to Los Angeles in 1985 to pursue their stylish dreams. He was a fashion stylist for 12 years, then transitioned to freelance fashion and advertising photography.
In 2008 he began to devote all of his time to their apparel company, Trina Turk.
The dapper style of the Mr Turk menswear collection was created by Jonathan.
A true design visionary, in addition to photography and clothing design, Jonathan was also an open water swimmer, restorer of historic homes, architecture aficionado, amateur landscape designer, philanthropist, beekeeper, chef, and life-of-the-party, entertaining his entourages in Los Feliz and Palm Springs. His creativity and spirit were wild, free and spontaneous.
Jonathan has always loved the ocean and was an enthusiastic member of the West Hollywood Aquatics (WH2O) Masters swimming club.
Described by many as a powerful force of nature, his final exit was accompanied by an epic thunder and lightning storm over Los Angeles.
Jonathan’s simple advice:
“Have fun and enjoy your life!”
We will miss him.
He is survived by his wife Trina, mother Barbara, brother Nathan (Luanne). He is preceded in death by his father Harold.
Jonathan’s simple advice: Have fun and enjoy your life. A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to LA Conservancy laconservancy.org; Palm Springs Modern Committee psmodcom.org; Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center psmuseum.org; LACMA Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) lacma.org/DA2; the Trident Swim Foundation tridentswimfoundation.org; or ActBlue candidates secure.actblue.com.
Community of L.A. and around the world is truly deeply sad.
What a beautiful man! Such a bright light and inspiration. Thank you for the memories Jonathan ❤️
Very sad to hear this news this came has a shock since he love the water and was a excellent swimmer. One of my greatest experiences on life was meeting and working for him and @TrinaTurk. I like to said that someone how is really loved never dies because they remain in the hearts of the ones that love him, I am sure that he was an is love by many. RIP 💔