The Gilded Ones
DR. JON TURK
DASHING AND DEBONAIR
Meet our next Gilded One, Dr. Jon Turk. Not only is he a top ranked plastic surgeon in New York City, Dr. Turk is also one of the most sartorially savvy gents in town. At least two things can be gleaned from taking in his thoughtful and cultivated style: (1) even lab coats and scrubs can be elevated and luxe; and (2) men who have not yet embraced jewelry (especially gold) are missing out on a wonderful way of expressing personal style.
Dr. Turk exudes a movie star vibe. Think George Clooney, Carey Grant or Humphrey Bogart. In fact, during our photoshoot, a number of onlookers gathered around, some convinced that they were experiencing a star sighting. Overheard: Stranger 1. “Who is he? Is he famous?” Stranger 2. “I don’t remember his name— but I’ve seen him in something before.” Not likely, unless you have made an appointment for rhinoplasty — an area of plastic surgery in which Dr. Turk is an expert and an innovator. Nevertheless, the good doctor’s Hollywood aura is undeniable.
Another observation worth mentioning about Dr. Turk, especially these days, is his gentlemanly nature. Before you conjure up an image of an elitist or a stuffy man of medicine, let us explain what we mean. In centuries past, the term “gentleman” described a man of noble birth. Later on, the description expanded to include men who were well-educated, cultured and exceedingly courteous. Putting aside noble birth (we are Americans after all), we define a gentleman as a man who is not only educated, polite and cultured, but one who is warm, authentic, reliable, humble and compassionate. One who possesses a strong work ethic as well as an irreverent brand of fun. That’s Dr. Turk in a nut shell. A complete gentleman.
We stopped by his New York City office at 800A Fifth Avenue on a beautiful fall day to chat with him about all manner of subjects, including current events, his path to becoming a surgeon, the development of his personal style, and his love of jewelry and beautiful time pieces. Scroll down to get the scoop on the dashing and debonair Dr. Jon Turk.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a 57 year old plastic surgeon married to a brilliant journalist and author and the fortunate parent of two kind and loving children. Born and bred in New York, I split my time between Manhattan and Long Island. Meditation is my super power for being less reactive and living presently in each moment.
Home. Sweet. Home.
Born in Brooklyn (yeah, Brooklyn in the house!), early childhood in Queens, the rest of my childhood and adolescence in Long Island but with an ever present tether to Manhattan. While I found comfort in my suburban surroundings, the City was always a strong magnetic force and the older I got, the more time I spent downtown. Two of my best friends from elementary school are still two of my best friends today.
I graduated from Amherst College, a fine New England institution, with lot’s of prep school graduates, khakis and sweaters, and the ghost of the great American poet, Robert Frost. As a kid from the suburbs of New York, I was a bit of a fish out of water. Eventually I found my crowd and made lifelong friends, including a top talent agent in LA and a Prince in Monaco. Although I was a premed student my college Major was English Literature. My mom was a sculptor and a voracious reader. She argued that a rigorous curriculum in the sciences should be balanced with equal focus on the arts and humanities. Heeding that advice was a crucial element in my further intellectual development.
I am a Plastic Surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face. After 14 years of study and training, including a residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital and a Fellowship in Bern, Switzerland, I maintain a practice on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan where I perform a variety of aesthetic procedures. My scientific studies in college and then medical school prepared me for a career in medicine while my immersion in the arts and humanities and experiences abroad had a tremendous influence on my approach to patient care. And later, during my surgical training, my reconstructive training continually informed my approach to cosmetic surgery. This is especially evident in my rhinoplasty practice which is really my true surgical passion.
In a haze of teenage bravado, I agreed to a car race down a major avenue through fog as thick as cotton. To make things even worse, my parents happened to be driving home from dinner behind those two maniacs. Needless to say I was without a car for the next two months.
Big Things & New Endeavors.
Over the past 7 years, I have been working on, and refining, a new technique for rhinoplasty. I would like to write a treatise on the approach and leave it as my professional legacy.
I happen to be a great dancer.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PLASTIC SURGEON?
My mom was a sculptor and my dad was an attorney. I needed something practical and creative, something left brain and right brain and a way to make a good living.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
I love that I am constantly learning, improving, refining and tweaking my creative process. I also appreciate that surgery is something that feels natural and comfortable to me and that the world comes to me in my daily interactions with a global clientele.
TELL US YOUR PATH TO BECOMING ONE OF THE TOP PLASTIC SURGEONS IN NEW YORK CITY.
By not trying to become one of New York’s top plastic surgeons. My practice, which is based on diligence, skill and kindness, has slowly and organically evolved over these many years. My only marketing is through word of mouth referrals and, in the words of a talented actor, “it is better to be good than famous.”
HOW HAS COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY YOU PRACTICE MEDICINE?
With mandatory screening procedures, patient distancing and capacity limits, the number of patients we see in a day has been cut by almost half. This slows the pace of each appointment and makes the day less physically and emotionally demanding. I plan to adopt this more limited schedule even when the restrictions are lifted and Covid is brought under control. It’s a much more civilized way to work.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE STARTING YOUR CAREER TODAY?
Buy my office instead of renting it all of these years.
WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Music is a major joy and outlet. I have played the drums since middle school and rehearse and perform with our band “Kings Drive Underground”. I enjoy the protected time, camaraderie and mental focus inherent to the game of golf. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Princess Grace Foundation, which is a philanthropic arts organization. Serving on the board is a fulfilling aspect of my time away from the office.
WHAT ARE THE THREE BEST ANTIAGING PRODUCTS YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO YOUR CLIENTS?
- Vitamin C
- Human Growth Peptide Serum
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN DESCRIBED BY PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOU WELL? DO YOU AGREE WITH THEIR ASSESSMENT?
In their words: nice, warm, diplomatic, compassionate, kind, talented, well dressed, handsome. I guess they overlooked conceited since I kind of agree with their assessment.
WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Elegant. Smart. Coordinated.
HOW DOES JEWELRY FIT INTO YOUR WARDROBE?
I am a watch lover and a bracelet hoarder. The watches are all worn frequently and the bracelets represent the places I’ve visited like St. Tropez, Los Angeles, Rome, Marrakech, Stockholm, Dublin, St. Barts, Santorini, Monte Carlo, and many others. And I have one cool ring that I wear most Saturday nights.
DO YOU TAKE FASHION RISKS? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?
No. I have a certain sartorial reputation to uphold.
STYLE ICON — WHOSE STYLE TO YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
Carey Grant and Grace Kelly. Anything they wore, from a sweater and blue jeans to formal attire, they wore with casual elegance and ease. They always looked “finished” with the perfect accessories and jewelry. Their looks are timeless.
WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE GO-TO WARDROBE PIECES?
- Navy Blue Tuxedo custom made by Nigel Curtis
- Tastefully ripped jeans by Seven for all Mankind
- Japanese black cotton tee shirt by James Perse
- Cashmere car coat by Loro Piano
- Off White hand stitched Lab Coat custom made by Nigel Curtis
ASSUMING THAT WE MAY TRAVEL THE WORLD FREELY IN 2021, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO?
- Greece for my daughter’s graduation;
- Monaco for the Grand Prix;
- Africa for a family trip and photo safari
- Tuscany; and
LIGHTNING ROUND! PICK ONE.
On personal aura: Mystery or Clarity?
On personal style: Minimalist or Maximalist?
On shopping: Online or in a store?
— Hmm… In store for clothing and online for everything else.
On travel: Adventure—filled with spartan digs or calm and quiet but supremely luxe?
— Calm and quiet but supremely luxe.
On people: Absolute favorite human trait?
On people, pt. 2: Least favorite human trait?
On NYC life: New York Times or New York Post?
— New York Times.
On NYC life pt. 2: Shake Shack or Le Bernardin?
— Le Bernardin.
On the current state of the world: Pessimist or Optimist?
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE YEAR 2020.
Apocalyptic. Reflective. Crazy.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
Gold is so regal. It’s a wearable asset. It’s one of those rare elements that can be stoic and serious or wildly fun and creative.
WHAT AUVERE PIECES MUST YOU OWN?
The Floral Eye Signet Ring for my right hand, the Double Barrel Ring with the brushed satin finish as my new wedding ring, the Perigee bracelet to wear with my Stainless Steel Rolex Daytona and the Vortex Ring for my wife to complement her Auvere Butterfly Cuff.
This was fun. I enjoyed getting gilded. Auvere has made me a huge fan of gold jewelry.
JON IS WEARING:
Summer silk sport coat: Loro Piano; Shirt: Nigel Curtis; Jeans: Rag & Bone; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Watch: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Dive Watch and Jewelry: Auvere (Linear Maze Pendant & Chain Large/Polished);
Custom tailored lab coat, shirt and slacks: Nigel Curtis; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Tie: Giorgio Armani; Watch: Ulysses Nardin, and Jewelry: Auvere (Perigee Bracelet, Brutalist 24K Ring Satin, and Double Barrel Ring Satin);
Summer silk sport coat: Loro Piano; Shirt: Nigel Curtis; Jeans: Rag & Bone; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Watch: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Dive Watch, and Jewelry: Auvere (Linear Maze Pendant & Chain Large/Polished, Perigee Bracelet, Xanthe 24K Ring Satin, and Vortex 24K Ring Polished);
Black rugby flannel sport coat: Sartoria Eleganza; Jeans: Acne; Boots: Tods; T-shirt: John Varvatos; Watch: Rolex Daytona, and Jewelry: Auvere (Ornate Cone Amulet and Chain Satin Large; Ornate Cone Amulet & Chain Polished Small, Love is Love Bracelet, Galactic Band Polished and Floral Eye Signet Ring | 9 Diamonds); and
Custom tailored gray suit and lavender shirt: Nigel Curtis; Tie: Ermenegildo Zegna; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Watch: Ulysses Nardin, and Jewelry: Auvere (Star Power Ring; Xanthe 24K Ring Polished and Stud Band Polished).