Maria Cornejo

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Maria Cornejo
Born Chile
Residence New York, New York U.S.
Occupation Fashion Designer
Spouse(s) Mark Borthwick
Labels Zero + Maria Cornejo

Maria Cornejo is a fashion designer based in New York and known for her Zero + Maria Cornejo collection.[1][2]


Maria Cornejo was born in Chile.[1] When she was 12 years old, she and her family moved to Manchester, England during Pinochet's dictatorship.[3] She soon moved to London, moving in circles which were still in the grip of punk style.[3] Maria graduated from Ravensbourne College in London in 1984, when designers like Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett were central to the London fashion scene.[4] Her varied career spans London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo where she designed for Fiorucci, was part of the design partnership Richmond Cornejo; developed her own signature Maria Cornejo collection; and worked as a creative consultant for major retailers such as Joseph, Tehen and Jigsaw.

In 1996 Maria and her family moved to New York. She currently lives with her husband, photographer Mark Borthwick, and their two children in Brooklyn. Her daughter, Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, followed in her father's footsteps and is a photographer in her own right. Maria continues to design from her Bleecker street atelier.


In 1998 she transformed a raw space in Nolita into an atelier and store known as Zero. From the beginning, Maria established an independent point of view and developed new ways of cutting based on the simplest geometric forms. The simplicity, ease and freedom in her clothing have become her calling card and established her as an innovative force in womenswear. Warm, approachable, modern and clean are all words that have been used to describe Maria Cornejo's work for Zero + Maria Cornejo. Her approach has gained her a loyal following and high praise from clients like Michelle Obama, Tilda Swinton, Christy Turlington and Cindy Sherman.[4]

It has been said of her work - “In Maria Cornejo’s hands, minimalism is not a bland word ... her clothes have a sleek sophistication and always a sense of surprise.”


Maria Cornejo was honored as the Fashion Prize winner of the 2006 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards after being selected as a finalist in 2005.[3] Maria has proudly been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) since 2003 and an original member of the CFDA Sustainability Committee.


  1. ^ a b Garcia, Laia (11 March 2016). "The Lenny Interview: Maria Cornejo". Lenny Letter. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Ginsberg, Merle (19 June 2012). "Designer Maria Cornejo on Her New Show With Artist Alice Waese and Wearing Her Own Designs (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ a b c Heller, Sabine (September 2, 2009). "A Glimpse Of Designer Maria Cornejo: A Michelle Obama Favorite". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Livingstone, David (March 28, 2012). "Fashion: Michelle Obama, Holt Renfrew among designer Maria Cornejo’s big fans". Toronto Star. 

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