Hospitality Design - August 2015 - (Page 69)

products profile maria cornejo By Alissa Ponchione Photography courtesy of KnollTextiles 2 1 DESIGNING WOMAN A fashion veteran tries her hand at fabrics By the age of 7, Chilean-born Maria Cornejo was already hard at work on her first clothing collection. Her grandmother, Ita, had taught her how to knit, and she translated those skills into creating ready-towear outfits for her fashion-forward dolls. Four years later, Cornejo and her family left Chile as political refugees during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, moving to Peru before ending up in England when Cornejo was 13. She "always liked making things," she says, but didn't think being a designer was a realistic career goal. "I thought you had to be discovered," she admits. Yet the teenager found herself drawn to the design world partly due to her passion and partly because "my English wasn't great. The arts seemed like an easier option for me because it was very visual." She developed her first fashion line in Paris in 1989 at age 27, which was sold in Japan and select U.S. retailers, before working for clothing retailer Jigsaw and French label Tehen. In 1996, a pregnant Cornejo, along with her photographer husband, Mark Borthwick, and their 6-yearold daughter, picked up and moved to New York so she could open her own store and atelier and settle down. "The beginning was very joyous," she says. "It was very much like an experiment." But the store sat vacant for a year while Cornejo cared for her sick father. And though he passed away, "it was not a wasted year," she says. The time away allowed her to focus on creating sophisticated clothes that "don't alienate women." Eventually Barneys New York and Parisian store Colette came calling, and her brand Zero + Maria Cornejo has thrived since, with famous fans including First Lady Michelle Obama and Tilda Swinton. Partnering with Knoll Luxe on a textile collection was a natural next step. Cornejo would bring folders of her ideas to Knoll Luxe's creative director Dorothy Cosonas, who would edit those into things the designer could work with. "She pushed me to get the best end result," says Cosonas of the collection that launched last fall and includes four upholstery fabrics and two drapery options. 2 1. The 100 percent wool Ita upholstery is especially personal for Cornejo, reminiscent of a Santiago blanket and named for her grandmother. 2. Big Fringe, meant to evoke feathers, is a textured drapery created from silk threads. For instance, Cornejo's love of patterns, rich colors, and textures is evident in the Cloud drapery, which "creates that feeling of blurriness," while Big Fringe was inspired by a furry shrug from her pre-fall 2012 collection. "I wanted it to have texture and not to fall flat," she says. And, in an ode to her grandmother, the 100 percent wool Ita upholstery is based on a pattern from a Santiago blanket. The collaboration has helped Cornejo with her fashion, too-even inspiring her to apply what she's learned in her next clothing line. "I'm constantly questioning everything," she says. "I call it inspiration depression. How can we make it better? How can we evolve?" hd zerom ari a cornej; k nol l .com August 2015 069

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - August 2015

Hospitality Design - August 2015
online TOC
from the editor
from the show director
trends 3d printing
interview helen jorgensen
5 questions for karim rashid
profile kelly hoppen
profile poesis design
profile 13&9
profile maria cornejo
profile design by them
profile ladies & gentlemen studio
profile emerging designers
trends collaborations
trends spanish influence
special feature custom solutions
airland hotel
press hotel
hotel henriette
newport marriott
industry kitchen
ad index
back space

Hospitality Design - August 2015