Maria Cornejo was born in Chile and moved to England with her family when she was a child. Her varied career spans London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo where she was part of the ground-breaking 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 where, in 1998, Maria and her husband, Mark Borthwick, transformed a raw space in Nolita into a highly creative atelier and store known as Zero. From the beginning, Maria established an independent point of view and developed new ways of cutting fabrics based on the simplest geometric forms. This simplicity, ease and freedom in her designs have become her calling card. A champion of women, in the fashion industry and beyond, her work is guided by the idea of creating wearable luxury for real women.
Maria Cornejo was honored as a winner of the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards in 2006 and has proudly been a member of the CFDA since 2003. 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 currently lives with her husband, the photographer Mark Borthwick, and their two children in Brooklyn, New York. Her daughter, Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, followed in her father’s footsteps and is a photographer in her own right. Maria continues to direct her design team from her Bleecker St atelier.