Willa Kim

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Willa Kim
Born Willa K Kim
(1917-06-30) June 30, 1917 (age 98)[1]
Los Angeles, California
Nationality US
Education Chouinard Art Institute
Known for Costume designer

Willa Kim (Korean:김월라; Hanja:金月羅) is an American costume designer for stage, dance, and film.

Kim was born in Los Angeles, California and is a 1935 graduate of Belmont High School where she excelled in art and was an art editor for the 1935 Campanile (Belmont's yearbook). The end sheets of the yearbook were the start of her career, as they are free hand drawings of her impressions of high school life atop Crown Hill (the site of Belmont High School). For her post-secondary education, she attended Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts) on scholarship. Upon graduation, she worked for the designer Raoul Pene du Bois in the film industry but soon started designing for the theatre.[2] Kim has designed costumes for Broadway shows, winning the Tony Award for her costume designs for The Will Rogers Follies and Sophisticated Ladies. She has received an additional four Tony Award nominations [3] and has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design twice. She has designed costumes for the American Ballet Theatre as well as other dance companies, including more than 50 works for Eliot Feld. Furthermore, in 2007 Ms. Kim was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, making her one of only a handful of costume designers so honored.[4] Broadway credits include Bosoms and Neglect.

In 2003 Kim received the Patricia Zipprodt Award for Innovative Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.[5] In 2005 she received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Costume Design from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.


  • Her brother is a war hero, Col. Young Oak Kim (US Army). Willa Kim attended the special ceremony of Young Oak Kim Academy (L.A.) which honored her brother on October 6, 2009.



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