Francisco Costa Talks Iconic Women, Advice from Calvin in Interview Magazine

Francisco Costa Calvin Klein

Photos courtesy of Interview

Francisco Costa (left) and a look from the Calvin Klein Fall 2012 collection.

The heritage of Calvin Klein, the man, is the stuff of legend, but there’s no question that Francisco Costa, the designer behind Calvin Klein Collection for the past 10 years, has made the house his own.

“I don't know if I realized at first how big a job it was,” the designer told photographer Ryan McGinley in the new issue of Interview. “So five years ago there was much more hesitation—a sense of having to prove something. I feel very comfortable right now, very at ease.”

Of course, before diving into the gig, Klein himself did have a few worlds of advice.

“Calvin actually once said to me that he never looked back,” he said. “I think it's probably the genius about him. I try not to look back. I try not to look in the archives or at stuff I've done. I think it's so much more interesting what's to come.

“I will never be Calvin because Calvin is a genius and he did what he did. I'm here now, this is what I can offer, and I have to be extremely honest with what I can do and really genuine and offer that.”

For all the talk of minimalism that surrounds the house of Calvin Klein (Costa prefers “reductionist,” thank you very much), what really inspires Costa when he works is the women who’ll wear his clothes.

“If you think of the iconic women who have influenced designers, they are so important,” he said. “They give a designer such strength. I want everyone who comes in to buy my clothes to feel a little better. I think being inspired by women is really the number one thing. I could not design for women if the woman was not important.”