Costa is the second youngest of five children. He grew up in Guarani, Brazil, where his mother, Maria-Francisca, owned a children's wear factory. She began her business producing dresses commissioned by a traveling salesman. Costa's father, Jacy Neves da Costa, ran a small ranch. In his hometown of 8,000 people, Costa put on fashion shows for charities. His size is compact and he has brown eyes. Being civic minded by nature, his mother was like the mayor of the town. She presided over her family. Costa remembers there being fifteen people at his family's lunch table.
Following his mother's death in 1981, he left with a friend for New York City in 1985. and spoke no English at the time. He enrolled in a language class at Hunter College... Read More