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Coffee With…Maria Cornejo

Written by Erin Feher

Photography by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Ready for another round of rapid-fire questions over a cup of caffeine? Today’s “Coffee With…” feature is with the multi-talented Maria Cornejo. Maria is an icon in the sustainable fashion world—while many major fashion brands are scrambling to adopt eco-friendly practices, Maria launched her brand Zero with sustainability at its heart more than 20 years ago, from her Nolita design studio and store of the same name. The Chilean-born designer and mom of two grown (and talented) kids is currently hot off the release of her resort collection, which features a dreamy line of eco denim and covetable sweatshirt styles. During a recent stop through San Francisco for a party at the stunning Sabah store, she sat down with us to talk about her life in NYC, coffee habits, top parenting advice, and her favorite way to relax. Grab a cup of your own choosing and enjoy!

How do you take your coffee? “With coconut milk.”

At what hours? “At 8:30 a.m. or while walking the Brooklyn Bridge.”

What are your favorite coffee shops in NYC?Angelique Café or I make my own coffee and I carry it when I walk.”

How do you treat yourself? “Yoga and walking.”

What are your top 5 local NYC spots?Il Buco, La Vara, Celestine, the Brooklyn Bridge, and The Alchemist Kitchen.”

Flats or heels? “Flats always.”

Any upcoming designers you are watching? “To be honest, I don’t usually look at other designers, but I’m excited to see that there’s a new crop of female designers coming up.”

What color is inspiring you right now? “I love orange right now.”

Early bird or night owl? “Neither.”

What time do you wake up each morning? “Depends on the stress level, but usually 5 a.m. when the sun comes out or when my cats wake me up.”

Currently on your bedside table? “The book She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.”

Favorite film? “Blade Runner.”

What’s the best piece of motherhood advice you’ve received? “They all learn to talk and walk eventually. Don’t stress. Shower them with love. Teach them manners, manners are cheap. Boredom is good for kids—it makes them creative.”

What excites you most about motherhood? “The incredible capacity to love that much.”

What makes you most nervous? “The incredible capacity to love that much and have something happen to them.”

What’s your go-to family meal recipe? “Roast chicken.”

What’s one of your best childhood memories? “At my grandfather’s, climbing up the fig tree and picking fruit, shadowing him while he swept the yard, and my grandmother while she cooked.”

For more on Maria, follow along with her on Instagram. For more “Coffee With…” features, check out our conversations with Eva Chen, Jessie Randall of Loeffler Randall, model, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Liya Kebede, designer Margherita Missoni, the multi-talented Karen Elson, and General Store Los Angeles co-owner Hannah Henderson.

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