It is more often to hear about a designer taking a hiatus then making a comeback in the same industry, but far few would risk their reputation to set sail on a new sea – from scratch.
Upon his departure, from a 13-year long run as the creative director of womenswear for Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa used the downtime to travel to Brazil, reconnecting with his homeland, and subsequently finding the distinct aromas and purities that built the foundation of Costa Brazil – a series of skin and bodycare.
Costa’s escapade has brought him to explore the enchanted grounds, deep into the Amazon rainforest – starting with his initial encounters with the indigenous Yawanawá tribe along Gregório River, then to the communities of Belém do Pará and Rio Grande do Norte.
By working alongside local chemists and botanists, he was able to orchestrate a trinity formula of which the brand patents as the Jungle Complex – a nutrient-rich potion of Kaya, Cacay, and Breu that encapsulates the nourishing powers of the natural world, which is at the core of all its products.
Breu: A natural resin that can be compared to frankincense. Not only is it recognised for its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, but Costa also chose Breu specifically to enhance mood, as the natural fragrance brings in a spiritual element that can help relieve the mind.
Cacay: It was handpicked for being rich in Vitamins A and E, Omega 3, 6, and 9. It is far more superior than Argan oil and is a natural source of retinol.
Kaya: A high-protein seed sourced from ancient sapucaia trees that are richer in antioxidants, minerals, and micronutrients than most other substances in the world. The company, in fact, made the decisive move to purchase the entire crop, taking the preservation role into their own hands.
Costa Brazil’s definition of sustainability goes beyond reusable vessels and clean sourcing across its supply channel but extends the dialogue to its community initiatives. As a close collaborator of Conservation International, the brand takes an oath to restore sacred lands and empower the local people that strive in those environments.
Costa iterated that “our company might be very small, but we believe in building a strong social structure in giving back.”