Maria Cornejo

CORNEJO’S CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION: Première Vision and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have crowned Maria Cornejo as the brand ambassador for next month’s Première Vision New York.

The designer is crafting a selection of exclusive designs for the show, putting to use textiles from the Swiss company Schoeller Textil. She said of the collaboration, “First, I am a total fabric nerd. I start always with fabric, draping. That’s the way we design the collection, designing the fabric. Secondly, the collection is going more and more toward sustainability.”

The show will run Jan. 16 and 17 at Pier 94 in New York.

The opportunity to work with Schoeller, the 2017 Fashion Smart Creation prize at the last PV Awards, was a selling point for Cornejo who also commended the company’s avant-garde reputation in this arena. The Swiss textiles maker was honored for its double-face fabric with a color-contrasting back in ECONYL yarn. “This was an amazing opportunity. There was no reservation for me to do it because it was also about spotlighting sustainability, showing that it doesn’t have to be boring,” she said. “It can be design. It doesn’t have to be granola or look beige. There are different ways to approach it and that’s what’s really interesting.”

The creative force behind Zero + Maria Cornejo will be reissuing some key shapes in “fantastic tech fabrics,” Cornejo said. David Wolfson and Associates, a 2015-16 grant recipient of the CFDA’s Fashion Manufacturing Initiative Grant Fund, will produce her PVNY designs. (The CFDA’s FMI was created in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corp.) To play up homegrown manufacturing, David Wolfson and Associates will be housed with other local manufactures in the CFDA’s FMI space. Cornejo also talked up that element, noting that “local manufacturing is something that we really believe in” and 70 percent of her collection is made in New York.

A few months back, the designer debuted the book, “Maria Cornejo: Zero,” which highlighted her 20-year-old business. “It was really important to document everything because I’m the only one who knows everything from the very beginning. For me, it was about trying to recapture the essence of the early years. It was nice to refocus everything and bring back the energy of those early days,” she said.

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