Fashion & Beauty

Fashion Friday: Maria Cornejo Designs for ‘Brainy, Strong Women’

maria_cornejoIn a recent feature in The New York Times, Chilean-born designer Maria Cornejo said that at the heart of what underlines her vision for dressing women is that she is “trying to bridge the disparity between what is being photographed and what people actually wear. . . ” Amen! She later added, that she is “craving things that have substance, rather than being just eye candy.” And in addition to substance, her designer’s eye has produced pieces that are a hybrid of minimalist and eccentric, strong and feminine.

This year, Cornejo’s label, Zero & Maria Cornejo, turned 15. Since launching the brand, Cornejo has won the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, opened three stores in New York City, and expanded the line globally.  Notable women of both substance and talent such as  First Lady Michelle Obama, Tilda Swinton, Susan Sarandon, and Cindy Sherman have donned her dresses. These are “brainy, strong women, not arm candy,” she told The Huffington Post. “They buy my clothes to wear in real life, not just when they are getting photographed.” And it’s an incredible list of women, some of whom are included on Cornejo’s website.

For the woman of style and substance, we’ve found much inspiration in Cornejo’s 2014 Spring/Summer Collection. Here are our favorites, curated around an aesthetic of minimalist meets eccentric, and all available at Enjoy!


D14-DOP702-117_01KALI DRESS: A sleeveless dress with round neck, seam detail at empire waist, and an asymmetrical draped wrap-effect skirt.Wear to holiday parties through early spring.


A14-THS702CHALKBLACK_01BIRI DRESS: This striped, woven cotton cap sleeve dress with geometric v-neck, seam detailing at fitted bodice and skirt, is reminiscent of faraway desert lands, old civilizations, and explorers.


D14-DOP701-117_01BELI TUNIC: Featuring a draped neckline, slight stand collar, front welt pockets, cut-out detail at hem, and long sleeves.


A14-MLS501PIXPRINT_01WIDE PRINT SCARF: We’re told this Pix Print originated from an iPhone picture taken by Maria. The white, yellow, and blue pixelated image evokes the broken tiles of a modern mosaic.


A14-LHP902WHITECHALK_01REVERSIBLE TOTE: For this soft nappa leather tote bag with camel hair, Maria was inspired by goats seen during holidays in Spain.



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  • Susanna Gaertner April 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I’m not a fashionista but absolutely love these flowing yet form-flattering shapes and would certainly seek them out if I were still in the workplace and in need of a wardrobe refresher. Lines are reminiscent of some 40’s designs, one of my favorite periods; I still own several of my mother’s suits and shoes from that era.