Francisco Costa attended the 2009 National Design Award with the striking Eva Mendes on his arm. The dashing lead designer of Calvin Klein won the award for fashion design, beating out finalists Rodarte and Thom Browne. Conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the awards honor the best each year in American design, from products to fashion to architecture.
“This is such an honor,” Costa said, as Calvin Klein campaign model Mendes sat in the audience. The actress came straight from shooting her new film, The Other Guys costarring Will Ferrell, and was grateful to not have to memorize any more lines for a speech. “I’m just going to read what comes on the teleprompter,” admitted Mendes.
Also in attendance at the event, held at Cipriani uptown on 42nd Street and hosted by Paula Zahn, was White House social secretary Desirée Rogers, who spoke on behalf of First Lady Michelle Obama. “Our future depends on everyone having access to the arts, Rogers said. "We are supporting creative and innovative ways to approach design.”