Innovation is Always in Style

Victor Costa Scholarship Fund Established


Left: Victor Costa and Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa. Right: Victor Costa shows off one of his creations.
Left: Victor Costa and Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa. Right: Victor Costa shows off one of his creations.

Innovation is one of the hallmarks of the University of Houston and is always in style, especially in the College of Technology. Named after the legendary fashion designer, the Victor Costa Scholarship is the brainchild of his wife, Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa, who shared that she wanted the world to know more about him and his contributions to the fashion and merchandising industry while encouraging people to study fashion design.  "I hope that the scholarship will get more people interested in what the University of Houston offers to its students," she said. 

When fully endowed, the Victor Costa Endowment Scholarship fund will provide approximately $1,000 annually for a student who exhibits a creative flair and talent, while maintaining the academic standards set forth by the scholarship committee.

From concept and design through materials selection, production and manufacturing of garments, the fundamentals of the fashion industry are rooted deeply in applied technology. As an alumnus of UH, it is not surprising that Victor Costa (’58) is an inspiration to students in the retailing and consumer science program, which has a strong tie to the fashion industry.

Growing up in the city of Houston, in the era of collectible "paper dolls", Victor Costa expressed an interest in fashion and design, drawing sketches of dresses worn by Hollywood stars. His childhood pastime of sketching dresses and making the paper versions made way to a long and successful career as a premiere fashion designer.

Costa left home to study design at the Pratt Institute in New York City during his senior year at UH and then studied in Paris, at the famous Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. He credits the support and encouragement of former UH professor, Dr. Edwin B. Roberts.

After graduating, he left for New York and became a designer for a bridal manufacturer. In 1965, he worked with the Suzy Perette line of dresses, often traveling to Paris as he learned to mirror the finest collections of haute couture designers. He successfully launched the Victor Costa Company in Dallas, Texas, in the early 1970’s and became well known in fashion circles. His designs have been featured by retailers around the world, and modeled by celebrities. Costa became an admired icon in the fashion industry, an expert in imitating the work of some of the world’s greatest designers. The publisher of the fashion industry’s voice, Woman’s Wear Daily (WWD), John Fairchild, referred to Victor Costa as the "maestro copier" in his book, Chic Savages

Through the generosity of legendary fashion designer Victor Costa and Jerry Ann Woodfin-Costa, innovation always will be in style. The Victor Costa Endowment Scholarship fund, pushes UH to the forefront of innovation, with creative, smart, driven, and innovative students sought after by industry. 

Contact Vernon King, Director of Advancement, at veking@central.uh.edu, 713-743-4886, for more information and to make a gift to the endowment.