NEW YORK — It's been 10 years since Maria Cornejo settled here from Paris, and she is treating herself to something special in this milestone year — a second home for her Zero label.
Cornejo, who already has a boutique and atelier at 225 Mott Street, just opened an 800-square-foot boutique at 807 Greenwich Street, between Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. The designer maintained that the timing couldn't be better: As fashion moves away from beaded and embellished looks toward a cleaner, more architectural aesthetic, it's playing in Cornejo's court. She is also a finalist for this year's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for fashion.
"I always wanted to have more stores rather than to be too spread out with department stores," she said. "I like to have our own stores because you can control your own image so much more."
It features curved wooden screens that cover the changing rooms in the back, and organic-looking rocks and tree trunks to display merchandise. "Eventually, we want to have a decking floor to give it more of an outdoors look," she said.
Retail prices range from $205 to $1,100, and Cornejo said she plans to experiment with men's wear at the new location. "There seems to be a lot of men around the Village," she noted.
Cornejo, who was born in Chile and raised in the U.K., has given her modernist touch to a variety of collections over the last two decades. In the Eighties, she cofounded the Richmond Cornejo label with British designer John Richmond and designed collections for European retail chains Jigsaw and Tehen. She and her husband, photographer Mark Borthwick, moved here in 1996. In 2001, Cornejo had signed a production and distribution contract with Onward Kashiyama USA to build her wholesale distribution network, but the deal ended three years ago.
Over the past few seasons, Cornejo expanded Zero's wholesale distribution to more than 20 doors, including Barneys New York, Ikram in Chicago, Satine in Los Angeles, and the Holt Renfrew chain in Canada. For 2006, the company projects combined wholesale and retail sales in the region of $2 million. On Greenwich Street, it hopes to generate sales of at least $750 per square foot for the first year.The designer has been raising her profile with several moonlighting gigs in recent months. This spring, she collaborated with Keds for a collection of skimmers and ballet flats in Lurex and brown jacquard. "I wanted a shoe to use with my collection for spring, so we asked Keds if they were interested in collaborating," Cornejo said. "Since I don't have a shoe license and am not into super-high heels, Keds epitomized something stylish, comfortable, and very urban." The Keds, which have a suggested retail price of $138, are available in Cornejo's stores as well as at her wholesale accounts.
Cornejo also recently designed the uniforms for of-the-moment downtown eateries Morimoto and Buddakan. The Morimoto uniforms are culled from Japan's minimalist aesthetic meshed with urban touches. She created cropped black pants with zipper details for the women that are worn with Obi jackets that have curved sleeves. Buddakan offers French-Asian fusion fare, so Cornejo went for a sexy, more flirtatious aesthetic with black lamé plissé dresses and wide-leg satin pants accessorized with shrunken shrugs for a more "coquettish" feel, she said.
"That was a really good experience," she said. "As a designer, I enjoy working with certain limitations because, as strange as it may sound, you end up being more creative working around the limitations. It's also nice to see the clothes on real people in sizes from four to 12."
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye