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Behind the Scenes: Zero Maria Cornejo

The Chile-born, England-raised designer has a tight team behind her to support her highly technical tailored yet minimalist aesthetic.

Dane, Iris and Carlos are interns who have become design assistants in various capacities at Zero Maria Cornejo and they give a bit of insight of working with Cornjeo who continues to make clothes that are without pretensions and remains willingly under the radar.

Dazed Digital: How did you all start working at Zero with Maria Cornejo?
Dane: I started an internship back in January for 6 months and when it finished they asked me to stay on as an assistant designer full time.
Iris: I came to NY, Nov 2007. I knew a lot of small downtown labels and quickly met Maria. I then started an internship here, my internship will end in sept.
Carlos: The same story really, I interned here 3 years ago and have never left !

DD: What was your educational background ?
Dane: I went to the Art institute of Philadelphia, did a major in Fashion, women’swear, graduating 2004.
Iris: I am German and studied in both Munich and Berlin, I just graduated 2007.
Carlos: I studied women’swear design here in NY, at the FIT, graduating in 2006.

DD: What attracted you to working with Maria Cornejo?
All: We love Maria’s aesthetic, her simple shapes that create amazing silhouettes.  We were drawn here because as the name Zero suggests Maria has a very organic approach to design.

DD: What’s the best experience you have encounterd so far?
Carlos: I would say the best experience is working with a small team of people, you become part of everything. You see the whole process, from the original ideas to the actual show ! You learn so much more this way.

DD: What is working with Maria Cornejo like ?
Dane: Maria has a really honest approach to her work. She designs what she likes, not following any trends, but just designing to her taste. This way her clothes appeal to everyone as they become timeless. They are always open for interpretation.
Iris: Working here is fun, I wake up and want to go to work. You feel free designing. It is very hands on.
Carlos: I love the fact we design and make what we feel is right for the brand, we never concentrate on what other designers are doing, rarely read magazines. Maria gains inspiration from galleries and her travels so its much more personal.

DD: What advice would you give to people who want to be in your posistion?
All: Find a designer that inspires you, someone you can relate to and then start trying to get an internship and learn how it all works.

DD: How would you describe your own style?
Dane: I would say mine is simple, just good shapes and uncomplicated.
Iris: I think we all have different styles but somehow come together as we share an interest in being minimalist.

DD: What did you want to be when you were kids?
Dane: I really wanted to be a trash man and ride on the back of the trucks.
Iris: Ewwww... I have actually always wanted to do this.
Carlos: I used to really want to be a sumo wrestler hehehehe...

DD: What would be your dream job?
Iris: I don’t know about dream job but I think you are always your happiest when you express your own creativity. When scary challenges are upon you and you complete them.