Art played an important role in Maria’s life from a young age. 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 a collection of ready to wear 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 while on 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, state-of-the-art Italian fabric with a “stretch silk” quality that allows even the most elevated garment to feel as comfortable as pajamas. That fabric was perfect for her new vision: a collection of garments that are washable but beautiful, functional yet elevated, thoughtfully made yet affordable. This was the inspiration for Maria’s new brand, M2057.
Launched via Kickstarter in August 2013, M2057 is Maria’s collection of ready-to-wear, timeless garments for the sophisticated, stylish woman. These strikingly sculptural pieces deliver all of the style, fit, and construction of luxury couture at a more accessible price - a method that Maria calls “deconstructed couture”. Thoughtful details - from seam placement to neckline construction to sleeve structure - ensure total comfort, freedom of movement, and a sublimely flattering fit.