Press Release / April 5, 2013

SCAD to honor Francisco Costa May 18, with Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award

/Photo by: © 2012 Dan Lecca SCAD will honor Francisco Costa May 18, with the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award./

The Savannah College of Art and Design will honor Francisco Costa, the women's creative director of Calvin Klein Collection, at the university's annual fashion show at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St., Savannah.

SCAD president and cofounder Paula Wallace and Vogue contributing editor and SCAD trustee André Leon Talley will present Costa with Talley's namesake lifetime achievement award.

To complement the honor, the SCAD Museum of Art will host an exhibit of Costa's work focusing on his Spring 2013 collection, opening May 18, at 601 Turner Blvd.

"Francisco Costa's work at Calvin Klein Collection is elegant and utterly timeless. It is an honor for SCAD to recognize this icon of American fashion with the 2013 André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award," Wallace said.

"I am deeply honored to receive this year's lifetime achievement award from SCAD and my long-time friend, André," Costa said. "To be recognized for my work by SCAD, which does so much to cultivate new design talent and connecting the fashion industry with Savannah, makes this acknowledgement especially meaningful to me."

Francisco Costa assumed the role of women's creative director of Calvin Klein Collection after working directly with Calvin Klein and other top fashion houses including Gucci, Balmain Couture and Oscar de la Renta. His first collection for the house in this role debuted for Spring 2004.

Since then, Costa has received critical acclaim and numerous awards for his work. In 2006 and again in 2008, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named Costa Womenswear Designer of the Year. In May 2008, he was awarded the Mortimer C. Ritter Award given by the FIT Alumni Association to an alumnus who graduated from the school and has excelled in art and design. In April 2009, Costa was honored by Parsons The New School for Design, at the school's 61st Annual Fashion Benefit.

Later that year, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York presented Costa its 2009 Fashion Design Award, which is given to those who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in design. At the 2012 Accessories Council Excellence Awards Gala, Costa accepted the Designer of the Year Award on behalf of Calvin Klein Collection.

Costa arrived in New York City from his native Brazil in the early 1990s with aspirations of designing for a large fashion house. In 1993, he began a five-year collaboration with Oscar de la Renta that included work on the designer's signature collection, as well as Pierre Balmain haute couture. He was recruited by Tom Ford in 1998 to join the Gucci design studio, and was the senior eveningwear designer there, before joining Calvin Klein's studio in early 2002.

Currently serving on the board of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, Costa has worked with a number of international organizations dedicated to the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS around the world. He was honored by amfAR: The Foundation for AIDS Research, and received the Award of Inspiration at the 2011 amfAR Inspiration Gala in Brazil.

Costa is the latest in a long line of fashion icons who have received the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award, including Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Tom Ford, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and, most recently, Ralph Rucci.

Graduating SCAD fashion students submit their work to a juried competition for critique by top fashion industry professionals. Outstanding students are then invited to present their collections at the annual SCAD Fashion Show, which has become one of the premier student fashion shows in the country.

Collections will be presented at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 1, and can purchased at, in person at 216 E. Broughton St., or by phone at 912.525.5050. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 with SCAD ID for the 4 p.m. showing, and $50 for the general public and $25 with SCAD ID for the 8 p.m. presentation. Tickets are limited.

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.

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