Subscribe to Style Magazine
39 posts tagged "Maria Cornejo"

Big Small Business:
Maria Cornejo Talks Staying Small


Better known are its compatriots Black Friday (11/25) and Cyber Monday (11/28), the two bookends that begin the holiday-shopping season. But American Express’ Small Business Saturday (11/26), which returns for its second iteration this year to bring awareness (and hopefully, customers) to local businesses, may be the weekend’s best shopping bet. American Express is offering Rewards Points to its customers who shop small on Saturday; and many retailers are offering promotions of their own to sweeten the deal. One is Maria Cornejo, who is planning a gift for those who shake off the post-Thanksgiving haze to make it into one of her stores in New York or L.A. Spend $500 on your Amex card, and receive her hair-print (above) or book-print silk scarf. Small business is at the heart of Cornejo’s operation. The designer spoke with about the challenges and rewards of staying small.

How important is it to you to be a small business?
It’s important for me, for my own creativity, to have our own point of view in the whole market. Being a small business, you’re offering a different a point of view that hasn’t been offered everywhere else. Having a so-called small business allows us to move quickly and respond to clients and what they need, rather than by trends. When things get too homogenized, everything [becomes] very corporate. You can find the same store in every major capital in the world.

By contrast, your three Zero stores don’t follow that corporate-store model.
Every [Zero] store looks different. The same elements are at play, but it’s not a standard shop-fit, like corporate companies have. It’s much more about fitting the area and having something that’s more personal to that space. Right now, people want a more personal experience, rather than something that looks…too standardized, especially our clientele. We compete by being more niche and more special. That’s our standpoint in the whole fashion business. To be quite honest, there’s 20 million collections out there—how do you differentiate yourself right now? That’s the only way we can: by being original. Continue Reading “Big Small Business:
Maria Cornejo Talks Staying Small” »

Fashionable Reads—Real And Otherwise


Summer reading? Fashion folks aren’t necessarily known for their book smarts (you’re more likely to catch them cracking the latest issue of i-D than Finnegans Wake), but they sure know how to fake it in style. Olympia Le-Tan’s whimsical clutches, which are made to look like famous novels such as Moby-Dick and Lolita, have been a smash success both on the red carpet and in the streets. The Kate Spade label picked up on the bags’ popularity and created its own editions. And at Zero + Maria Cornejo, the designer put her spin on the trend by printing library shelves on a draped silk dress. There are, of course, a few rogue intellectuals in the bunch. Top model Frida Gustavsson can often be found backstage thumbing through a highbrow paperback. Daphne Guinness, naturally, was toting Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence at the Couture shows. And while vacationing in Mexico recently, Naomi Campbell got her Kabbalah fix by skimming the Zohar—even if it was upside-down.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW, and let us know if you plan on joining the book club this summer.

Designers On Holiday


Light the barbecue, slice the watermelons, and get out your obligatory patriotic T-shirt. Fourth of July is fast approaching this weekend and summer is finally in full swing. Now that Resort appointments are (almost) over, designers, too, can finally kick back and breathe easy. (At least for a few minutes—another fashion week is just around the corner.) Here, checks in with some of our favorite designers to see what they are indulging in this summer.

“My greatest summer indulgence is doing a summer house with my closest group of friends—it’s so worth it. Fun, dinner, stories, sharing ideas and goals, celebrating success, and picking each other up through failures, with my groups of friends whom I have known for more than 12 years, is amazing.” —Prabal Gurung

“I wish I had more time to read; I have a long list of suggestions that my friends have given me—right now I’m actually reading an architecture book. But when I’m off duty, I want to be on a beach somewhere with my family. ” —Maria Cornejo

“In the summer, I look forward to spending the days in my garden in the country, my chickens, my fish, the afternoon swim, and the evenings with friends—especially over an elaborate meal that I cook with bottles of chilled rosé. The undiluted natural beauty of the Columbia County countryside, the smell of the plants, blossoms, and shrubs, they all recharge me.” —Bibhu Mohapatra

“I just like to be outside. I skateboard a lot and I love to surf—I usually short board these days. ” —Yigal Azrouël (left)

“Reading my Kindle on the beach—there is nothing more relaxing then a good book with the sand between your toes. I’m spending this Fourth of July at my Shelter Island home. I love hosting a barbecue and watching the fireworks with my closest family and friends. It makes me feel like an American via New Zealand!” —Rebecca Taylor

“Lately, I have really been obsessed with playing Scrabble. It sounds so nerdy, but my boyfriend and I play Scrabble at sunset on my rooftop and have cocktails. I would say that’s a very indulgent summer evening.” —Erin Fetherston

“I’m going to the Turks and Caicos this summer. Usually, we go to Europe but I’m so busy right now we decided this would be the easiest. I have never been to the Caribbean so this should be fun. I usually travel with a giant stack of magazines but I got a BlackBerry Playbook, so this will keep things a little more efficient.” —Chris Benz

“Long bike rides, Magnum ice cream bars, and tanning! I use Maui Babe and it makes the perfect tan.” —Rebecca Minkoff

Photo: Neil Rasmus /

Maria Cornejo Goes Green


It’s a cross-country season for Maria Cornejo. Fresh off the tenth anniversary party for Ikram Goldman’s Ikram boutique in Chicago this weekend, the designer is in Los Angeles, where she’s doing some celebrating of her own. Tonight, she’ll host a dinner for Paula Hayes, whose glass terraria, ceramic birdhouses, and silicone planters she’s showcasing for the next six weeks in her Melrose Avenue boutique. Hayes’ art will be familiar to anyone who’s visited MoMA since last November. Her installation, Nocturne of the Limax Maximus, was on view in the museum’s lobby until mid-April, and the vivid green plants encased within their handblown glass sculptures provided a striking counterpoint to New York’s long, dreary winter. “Paula is an artist who works with organic shapes and forms in unexpected materials,” Cornejo told (She’s also a longtime client; Hayes wears Cornejo’s designs almost exclusively.) “I love the way that her terraria are at once very futuristic-looking, yet still encompass the natural world.” (One of said terraria is above.) The best part of the arrangement? Says Cornejo: “Our ficus tree will get a new home in a silicone planter.”

No rest for the green-thumbed, though. Next week, Cornejo’s back in New York, where on Thursday, she’ll host yet another event—her first ever for her fledgling menswear collection. (She shows a few key men’s looks on the women’s runway.) At Project No. 8 Men’s on the Lower East Side, Cornejo will be on hand to style guys, selling the limited-edition tees she designed with husband Mark Borthwick to benefit Doctors Without Borders, and perhaps most tantalizing of all, offering the collaborative Common Projects x Maria Cornejo sneakers (below) that even her own stores don’t carry.

Maria Cornejo will be at Project No. 8 Men’s (38 Orchard St., NYC) from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 19; to RSVP, email

Photos: Courtesy of Zero + Maria Cornejo / Courtesy of Project No. 8

Maria Cornejo And Mark Borthwick Rally For The Cause


The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have galvanized the fashion and design community. The latest to heed the call to action are husband-and-wife designer and photographer Maria Cornejo and Mark Borthwick, who are doing their part with a capsule range of collaborative tees and tanks. Proceeds from the Zero + Maria Cornejo tops screened with Borthwick’s atmospheric photos, which go on sale this week at their Evening for Relief to Japan, will go to benefit Doctors Without Borders and its work in Japan. Prefer your art of the decorative, rather than wearable, variety? Borthwick will also be selling his Polaroids for the cause. Both Borthwick and Cornejo will be on hand at Bleecker Street’s Zero boutique this Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. to sign the goods. If you weren’t among the lucky winners at Friday night’s Opening Ceremony Japan benefit raffle, here’s your chance to help the cause and take the prize—guaranteed.

Photo: Courtesy of Zero + Maria Cornejo