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Designers We Are Wearing: Zero & Maria Cornejo



Designers We Are Wearing: Zero & Maria Cornejo

Clothing brand Zero & Maria Cornejo has come to the forefront of the fashion industry through combining thoughtful and feminine designs with ethical material use. Using geometric shapes as the fundamental starting point of a garment, the brand strikes a playful balance between universal styles and unique silhouettes in an elegant, almost naturalistic way. With the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, designer Maria Cornejo has transitioned classic pin striped linens, matching sets and neutral tones into supremely distinctive shapes and garment structure.

Originally from Chile, Cornejo’s career shifted between fashion capitals like London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo before eventually settling in New York in 1998 where she founded her Zero & Maria Cornejo brand. Opening purely as a retail boutique, the brand shifted as Cornejo found a love for designing and offering women clothing that transcended the fashion of the moment. With each design, Cornejo instead offers modern luxury as her lines center around textiles that mimic nature, baggy denims, mandarin collars, business style rompers and elegantly draped silk dresses. This worldly vision mirrors Cornejo’s nomad-esque lifestyle and career path.

Cornejo’s travel is not the only element that influences the brand. Her motivation for ethically and sustainably creating is a driving force behind her work today. After Zero moved from the Noho studio to the Brooklyn Navy Yard studio, the amount of extra textile from years of creation became abundantly apparent. Cornejo found an outlet for her fight against waste by re-using the company’s excess textiles in the Zero’s 2025 Capsule wardrobe.

Cornejo spoke on the brand’s fight towards ethical fashion further “as always, our focus is on responsible design where 73% of our fabrics have an eco-component and are predominantly washable and upcycled.”

Cornejo then described how many of their fabrics meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and use fabric from the non-profit organization Cradle 2 Cradle. The Zero & Maria Cornejo brand is also certified “Made in New York” due to 100% of the 2025 Capsule Collection being manufactured in New York City.

Through Zero & Maria Cornejo, each garment is a reflection of Cornejo herself. She found a way to connect with every woman while still keeping a keen eye on sustainability. Whether bold or conservative, a New York native or a Parisian, a maximalist or minimalist, Zero & Maria Cornejo designs offer something for every style.

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