Mallery Roberts Morgan, April Uchitel, Marisa Tomei, Maria Cornejo, Madeline Stuart, Sylvia Chivaratanond

Maria Cornejo traveled to the West Coast to celebrate the release of her first book “Maria Cornejo: Zero 1997-2017+” on Tuesday night. Marisa Tomei, Mallery Roberts Morgan, Madeline Stuart, Sylvia Chivaratanond and April Uchitel hosted the signing and cocktail celebration at her Los Angeles boutique on Melrose Place.

Maria Cornejo

Maria Cornejo signs her book at her Melrose Place boutique. 

“It was coming up to 20 years and I thought it was very important to have a record, especially of the early years that really were the heart and soul of what it is,” said Cornejo. “It was an amazing way to archive and I was the only one who knew everything. It was also to refocus the company and what it was about and to get the energy back.”

Cornejo has worked with her husband and daughter for years. “Especially my husband in the beginning, a lot of the spirit and creative we started together in the [New York] space, which was never meant to be a fashion store. It was meant to be a gallery,” she said.

She asked fashion writers Nicole Phelps, Tim Black and Jerry Stafford to write the words, noting, “I especially wanted Nicole to write it from a woman’s point of view because I think women don’t have enough of a voice.”

Finding material in the archive wasn’t a problem because Cornejo is “a bit of a hoarder. I left Chile with the clothes on my back as a political refugee, so now I keep everything.”

The 20th anniversary collection was also on display, including some re-editions or evolutions of past pieces. “There was a stripey top that we photographed on Stella Tenant in 1997 so that jersey got reproduced for pieces in this collection,” she noted.

Notables at the party included Katherine Ross, Jessica de Ruiter, Clare Vivier, Samantha Traina, Pamela Shamshiri, Patrik Milani, Giampiero Tagliaferri, Sonia Boyajian, Magda Berliner, Ami Sioux, Jen Rade and Todd Cole.

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