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September 09, 1989 - Image 121

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I've been around for so long, I'm try-
ing not to lose the customer I started
with 30 years ago. But now I have her
daughter."
Costa produces five collections each
year, and a minimum of 100 styles per
season. His garments cost from $250 to
$800 each, and he says they have the
same impact as the original.
"I think the lady who buys my
clothes and her husband gauge their
success on being able to be seen social-
ly and appreciated for their taste,
he says. "Rather than her buying one
$5,000 or $10,000 dress, I would give
her eight or 10 dresses so she will come
back every season."
Haute couture definitely has its place,
Costa continues, but debutantes, prom
queens and society women are looking
for value, especially since the decline of
the oil industry and Black Monday in
the stock market. "There's a whole sec-
tion of the economy that isn't willing to
spend the money on couture as much
as they used to," he says. "Also,
designers like Oscar de La Renta's and
Bill Blass' prices have gotten so out of
hand that a woman has to be nuts to
spend upwards of $5,000 for an outfit
which is not a one-of-a-kind original, fit-
ted to her specifications."
Currently riding the crest of populari-
ty, Costa plans to open a children's divi-
sion soon and to return to designing
bridal dresses. "I see a big move
towards tradition, and I want to be part
of it," he says.
Whether it's a white lace bridal gown
with a train or the latest deep purple
floral silk chiffon Ungaro duplicate,
Costa has one thing on his mind when
a woman dons his number. "I want her
to feel very pretty, so that when she
looks into the mirror, she hardly
recognizes herself," he says, noting that
Ivana Trump, Betsy Bloomingdale and
Charlotte Ford are just three of his hap-
py clients.
He takes it one step further, and
maintains strong bonds with some of
his clients even after they leave the
showroom or store.
Since his recent separation from his
wife of 26 years, Costa devotes all his
time to business. He never tires of the
hectic pace, though. "I feel really good
about having this creative freedom. I
just want to keep on top and make fresh
news each season," he says, checking
his watch because he's running late for
an appointment, "and I know VII be able
to keep doing it." I- I

oil t/11, 0

GIFTS

Look for
this November

FALL '89

121

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