Summer of 2014 in New York City – The setting, Esquire’s magazine SHARP The Man Event – a three-day pop-up shop featuring new brands in menswear and grooming. At the VIP reception, my eyes locked on a bright neon yellow mesh shirt. I get close to see the label; it reads Mr. Turk. That night, I was captivated by Jonathan Skow’s flamboyant style.
Back then I was new to the blogging scene and struggling with finding my signature style. I wanted to look dapper but hated wearing a suit and tie. Jonathan’s take on menswear was playful, especially the patterns and colors used in the men’s suits. I knew I had to try to work with the brand.
I reached out to him personally via e-mail – don’t ask me how I got his contact info. Much to my surprise, he replied and put me in touch with his PR – that was the beginning of a beautiful working relationship and friendship.
I collaborated with the brand for a couple of years before I even met Jonathan. Nonetheless, our friendship developed over Instagram. He would comment and like many of my posts featuring the brand.
In December of that year, DETAILS Magazine asked me to be part of a trend page for in-book (printed in March 2015). It would call out recurring trends seen on the DETAILS Network while promoting their contributors – I was one of them.
The theme for the shoot was “How Do You Do Suits.” I emailed Jonathan, telling him I’d love to wear Mr. Turk for this photoshoot since I wanted to show guys there were other options out there other than the plain black or grey suit – he made arrangments, and I pulled a few pieces for it.
The magazine hit the newspaper stands in the Spring of 2015 with me wearing a head to toe poppy patterned look by Mr. Turk. This was the very first milestone of my career, the fact I was wearing something that truly represented my personality, was the icing on the cake.
I finally met him in the fall of 2015 during a tradeshow in New York City, he received me with a warm smile and gave me a big hug. Right away, he asked me to try on some clothes, went outside and snapped some pics. I was mesmerized by how quickly he could mix and match patterns and prints.
I did many other collaborations with the brand, one in particular for #NationalSwimwearDay shoot in Coney Island by the very talented Ignis Terram. Jonathan always trusted me with his clothes, he believed in my vision and how I wore them. During one of my trips to Mexico, he even sent a few pieces all the way to my hometown, so that I could have something to wear for my birthday. How thoughtful is that?
I continued working with him, and when I went to LA, I was able to check out their factory. He styled me in several looks and shot me against a pink wall that was one of his Instagram staples for quite some time. For me, it was an honor to be chosen as one of his models. I admired Jonathan not only for his bold aesthetic but also for his genuine personality and a warm soul.
To say that hearing the news about his passing is a terrible loss is an understatement. My thoughts are with his wife Trina Turk and his family.
I can’t believe it was just last year when I was at his hotel suite after a party at their NYC flagship store, surrounded by talented and handsome men all sporting his creations, mingling and talking about life; I felt so lucky to be part of his crew.
Jonathan Skow, thank you for bringing light into my life, you and your colorful clothes taught me not to be afraid of being loud and different. I’m pretty sure that you touched many other hearts like mine, whether you realized it or not. Rest In Peace, my friend.
Not just a pretty face