John Pawson, Francisco Costa, Stefano Tonchi and Konstantin Grcic at Assouline's talk on 'Romantic Minimalism.' Photo: Courtesy of Assouline

As part of Assouline's Design Talks series, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa joined W's editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, industrial designer Konstantin Grcic and architect John Pawson for an intriguing talk about "Romantic Minimalism."

In addition to getting some scoop during the talk that Costa and Pawson might team up on a shoe collaboration, we chatted with the fashion designer afterwards for a little one-on-one about the role art plays in his life.

StyleList: The topic of tonight's talk was minimalism. Is your space at home as minimalist as your designs?
Francisco Costa:
My space is reductionist. I remember last Christmas season I had tons of paperwhite plants in the house because I like to garden and I love the way they smell. I had like 15 pots all over the house and and all of a sudden I came home and chopped them off and left only the sticks. So, that's interesting that there was a total instinct for a reductionist sensibility. Personally, I don't think that you're born with these sensibilities, but I'm in a spirit right now where I'm enjoying reductionism. It makes me more conscious of the things that I really want to have.

StyleList: What type of art is hanging on your walls at home?
I have Jeff Koons, I have Mapplethorpes. I have some things that people don't know of. I love minimalist and right now I'm more in the spirit of not having anything on my walls, and I'll get to that. Right now I don't feel like buying or having, but just appreciating. I feel like it's more fun to go to a museum and get a jolt of the pieces there. I don't feel like I have to own art, but the knowledge of it is very important.

StyleList: Do you consider fashion art?
Fashion is not art, but it's highly influenced by the things that are around like art and the street. When you think of art, you think of fearlessness and a true expression of one's mind. That's the brilliance of it. But fashion is a function. Fashion is a business and a reality and it has to fulfill some purpose. It has to fit into a lifestyle and be appealing to people.

StyleList: Perhaps it's more similar to architecture then.
I find architecture fascinating because you build something over ten years or twenty years and fashion is in much shorter cycles. It's really an evolution.

In related Art Basel news: read up on Charlotte Ronson's take on the 'Is Fashion Art?' debate.