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The Models of Calvin

In CK tradition, Francisco Costa has championed the industry’s top runway darlings. Here, his major closers through the years

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Debuting on the final day of New York Fashion Week, Francisco Costa’s latest collection for Calvin Klein marks his 10-year anniversary at the helm. When he took over the reigns from Klein himself in the spring of 2004, the industry watched and respected the way he carried on the Calvin Klein spirit, from the design down to the color palette.

But the other CK tradition Costa continued was fostering the next up-and-coming models, featuring them as closers of each runway show. While Mr. Klein brought super-faces like Kate Moss (pictured farthest left), Bridget Hall and Gisele into the fashion spotlight, Costa sent Karlie Kloss, Freja Beha Erichsen, Lara Stone and Jac down the runway to close his shows.

Calvin Klein’s top models (clockwise from left: Natalia Vodianova, spring ’03; Carmen Kass, fall ’03; Bridget Hall, fall ’94; Angela Lindvall, fall ’01; Gisele Bündchen, spring ’00)

In fact, Kloss’ first show at 15 years old was as an exclusive in Costa’s spring ’08 collection (pictured left). That season she went on to walk in Gucci, McQueen, Chloe, Valentino and eventually into the number-one model spot. Costa also gave Lara Stone her first big advertising break after she walked his show by making her the face of CK Jeans—a slot famously held by Kate Moss. Click through the gallery to check out more of Costa’s closing models at the cusp of their big break.