From a young age art played an important role in Maria’s life. As a shy kid, she found solace in museums, studying the ways in which others expressed themselves and the creative methods they used to do so. Her decision to attend the Art Institute of Chicago was based on her ability to study both fashion and art. “Art is everything, whether it’s a canvas or a dress, the same rules apply,” says Maria. After graduating, Maria moved to New York City, where she interned for womenswear designer Geoffrey Beene. His obsession with fabric, tailoring and minimalist design left an impact on Maria that remains to this day.
When Maria moved back to Chicago in 1991, she created a line of embroidered and beaded scarves and wraps. Her first client was Ultimo, Chicago’s top boutique, with Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, and Saks not far behind. Their beauty wasn’t lost on Mick Jagger, who bought one and wore it during a Soldier Field performance. A line of slip dresses came next, followed by day pieces a few years later. Along the way, Michelle Obama became a client, wearing Maria's stunning, perfectly-fitted dresses through the first campaign and into her first day at the White House.
It was during a shopping trip for a consulting project in Shanghai that Maria found the inspiration for her next project. At Premiere Vision, an international fabric fair, she stumbled upon a machine-washable, travel-friendly Italian fabric that combined functionality with luxury and quality. The high-tech fabric served as the impetus for M2057 and the Kickstarter campaign that launched this new ready-to-wear collection in August 2013.