KEEPING THINGS LOCAL: Like many small business owners that share a block or a neighborhood, the Women of NoHo have gotten to know each other and have rallied together to support various causes.
Designer Maria Cornejo, one of the group’s founding members, has planned to host an event at her Zero + Maria Cornejo Bleecker Street store June 18 to support Planned Parenthood, which has an outpost right across the street. The organization’s president and chief executive officer Laura McQuade is on board to cohost the event, which is expected to attract about 300 people including Christy Turlington and Carolyn Murphy. Members of Women of NoHo including Jane Mayle of Maison Mayle, Ulla Johnson, Padma Lakshmi, Anna Sheffield, Rachel Comey and Jill Platner have donated items for a benefit raffle. T-shirts are also being sold to support the cause.
Cornejo and fellow founding members Platner and Il Buco’s Donna Lennard will hold a group meeting Wednesday. But it’s not as though a stenographer will be recording minutes. Cornejo said, “It’s very organic. There’s no hierarchy. We’re busy women. We’re business owners. There’s no agenda. We’re all trying to do things with a little bit of weight and support behind the things that we believe in.”
When a Women of NoHo member has a call to action that they would like other members to support, an e-mail goes out. As for cause-related initiatives, Cornejo noted how her company stands behind sustainability, women’s issues and refugees. “I came from that background, so for me it’s very important to stand up for what you believe in. Maybe that’s not very fashion-like, but for me it’s always been important and something that I believe in personally and as a company.”
With cruise and sustainable denim launched and resort shot, Cornejo will keep working away until she can take a summer break in August when the factories in Italy do the same. “When Italy closes, I can go away. It’s a small concession. As a company, we’re just constantly evolving,” Cornejo said.
Her photographer daughter Bibi Cornejo is also sailing along in the fashion industry. “She does really well. She’s so busy, she can’t shoot for us anymore,” the designer said. “She just shot like three Vogues back to back. She’s shooting for French Vogue and big clients now. It’s good. I’m very proud of her.”