Maria Cornejo doesn't like to read fashion magazines because she'd rather see a well-dressed 40-year old woman than a 15-year old wearing fantastical costumes. When putting an outfit together she asks herself, "Can I go to Trader Joe's looking like this?"
Francisco Costa says that having Eva Mendes star in campaigns has added a new Latina demographic to the Calvin Klein customer base. (We wonder what demographic Lara Stone will add— 5'10" Dutch blondes?)
It's easier to talk about diversity on the runway than to cast it. Yeohlee Teng admits that finding her models of color takes harder work. Maria Cornejo cast only ethnic models one season, but claims that the collection was snubbed by editors. Francisco Costa says he would love to cast models from off the street (a la Marc Jacobs)
It's unanimous: Having Michelle Obama wear your clothes is great!
— Thulasi Sivalingam
The work of all three designers is included in the exhibition "Design USA: Contemporary Innovation" at the Cooper-Hewitt until April 4.