Francisco Costa imbues his sartorial elegance into his serene, curio-filled 1910s New York City apartment

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director
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“I have always been attracted to creating things with purpose, function and beauty,” declares Francisco Costa, the lauded former creative director of Calvin Klein’s womenswear who, for 13 years during his helm at the iconic fashion behemoth, translated this decidedly bold yet restrained sensibility into a multitude of timeless sartorial creations and universal acclaim.

Francisco Costa

A glance through Francisco’s 2,700sqft, three-bedroom apartment, which is spread across a full floor within a 1910-built building in New York City’s Park Avenue, reveals a masterfully curated sanctuary that has captured that same immaculate balance between effortless chic and refined austerity—with a touch of historic flair blended in. “I have always been attracted to limestone buildings and I have also always looked at Emery Roth’s work,” reveals Francisco of the structure’s eminent American architect. “Hence, this caught my attention.” Scroll through the gallery below (Photography:Bjorn Wallander) to enjoy the timeless design:

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

While identifying the apartment he wanted to call home was instantaneous, transforming it into one was another story. Faced with the elegant yet highly traditional structure (“the layout was a bit outdated,” admits Francisco), the designer set out to revive the space not so much by injecting modernism into it, but by distilling it to its most raw, organic form. “I did it by opening up rooms and making the space flow with a lot of light,” he explains of the process, in which he preserved elements of the original layout while restructuring the bones of the space, such as adding five inches to the central corridor. “This at first seemed liked a big waste of time and resources, but it added light and completely changed and improved the space.” 

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

Francisco also doused the entire apartment—including the hidden doors “that look like walls; you only know they’re doors because they have knobs”—in a crisp, industrial white. This not only highlights architectural details and further opens up the space, but also accentuates his luscious collection of bespoke furniture, art and curios like a blank canvas. Sitting next to custom grey wool fabric chairs in the living room are furniture pieces from Roman Thomas and a tapestry of artworks by the likes of Billy Sullivan, Vik Muniz, Guillermo Kuitca and Andy Warhol.

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

“Great art is very personal and most of the art I have is from people I have a relationship with,” elaborates the avid collector, pointing to three works by Bruce Nauman (“I visited him on his ranch in Texas, which is a fond memory”) and a piece by Ellsworth Kelly, gifted with a written note on the back. “The art I have is not just for show—I bought it along the way and its purpose is purely emotional. I am more of a reductionist than a minimalist. I like to move things around and play with the objects I have to create a new energy in the room.”

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

Blending into the array of treasures all over the home and elevating its palpable tranquillity are a host of exquisitely crafted candles and home-care products from Costa Brazil, the sustainable beauty line that Francisco started developing during his final year at Calvin Klein. Enriched with all-natural ingredients sourced deep from the Amazonian forests, it has been his labour of love for the past several years and a culmination of his pure, authentic design philosophy.

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

“The efficacy of skincare is based on the potency and purity of the ingredients, similar to fashion, which is also a composition of the best possible materials you can find,” explains Francisco, “After taking my first trip into the Amazon and discovering one of our ingredients, Breu, the brand was born.”

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

These days, when Francisco isn’t trekking the tropical rainforests or visiting family in his home country of Brazil, he’s basking in the luxury of a slower, more mindful lifestyle that has escaped him for the past several decades while working for the world’s largest fashion houses.

Step Inside the Elegant Home of Former Calvin Klein's Creative Director

Many of these moments are spent in this lovingly crafted oasis. “The home is a very zen space, very calm,” sums up Francisco. “Especially the living room, which is airy and nice; there are multiple areas to have conversation. It’s conducive to a great party.”

Tags: homeinteriordesignapartmentelegantCalvinKleinFranciscoCostaNewYork
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