Shop For Luxe Womenswear At Maria Pinto’s M2057 Pop-Up

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Models Ghazal Gill, Moana Holden, Imani Walton and Leah Morris wear M2057 and Marco Bicego
Models Ghazal Gill, Moana Holden, Imani Walton and Leah Morris wear M2057 and Marco Bicego

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

Chicago-based fashion designer Maria Pinto is in town this week with a pop-up shop of her latest collection for M2057. Today and tomorrow, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., visit Maria and peruse her exclusive collection at Villa Fontaine at 411 Vermont Street in Portrero Hill. In honor of the pop-up event, Pinto partnered with jeweler Marco Bicego to host an intimate fashion show yesterday at Shreve & Co. Deborah Cohen, the vice president of merchandising, planning, operations for Marco Bicego was on hand to share details about the gorgeous gold jewelry. Cohen also served as a superb model for Pinto’s clothing line. In a forest green dress from the fall line, Cohen was the image of chic workwear perfection.

Guests were treated to champagne, tea sandwiches, and a fashion show where models sported the latest looks by Pinto and Bicego. What made the show unique is that Pinto and Cohen commented on each look, describing the inspiration behind the jacket or dress and why it pairs well with a certain type of necklace or earring.

Deborah Cohen and Maria Pinto, left and right, pose with models
Deborah Cohen and Maria Pinto, left and right, pose with models

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

Pinto’s clothing has been worn by Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and her current collection was inspired by Zaha Hadid. She has an affection for powerful women and is inspired by their innate strength. She’s also intrigued by technology and how quickly it’s changing the world. She named her second fashion brand, M2057 with a number a la Apple and the various iterations  of their gadgets like the iPhone. The year 2057 is when Pinto will turn 100—an age she believes she’ll live to. Her mom is currently 101! Before the show, we sat down with Pinto to learn more about her clothing line; here’s how our conversation went down.

Tell me about this collection.

Maria Pinto: We launched in 2013. It was really built based on the idea of taking all the elements of my previous luxury collection. Silk, fit, design, fabric. Quality, quality, quality in everything. And really honoring the diversity of women’s body types. The foundation of the collection is about fabric. It’s this machine washable, high tech, high function fabric, from Italy.

Who is the M2057 woman?

MP: In 2013 when I wanted to re-launch and start designing again, we’d changed. Women had been through a lot after 9/11, after the economy of ’08. Women have become more empowered. We want more control of our own destiny so to speak and we are time starved. We are really rethinking how we want to use our time. The last thing she [the M257 woman] wants to do is stand in front of her closet and be frustrated by what she wants to wear. She wants things that are going to give her versatility. She wants things that can go from day to night. She wants things that can pack easy. All of these are washable. So you come back from a business trip, you come back from a holiday, you can throw it into a machine. You are on an extended holiday. You could pop it into a sink and rinse it out. So really kind of identifying the transition that we as women are making in our lives and the priorities and the things that are important. And I think this collection really respects that.

A look at the show
A look at the show

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

How has the concept of luxury changed in the past 10 years?

MP: I think everyone is trying to figure that out. It’s a very complicated space because I think women are rethinking how they want to engage in it. There was a period of time I think we felt a little bit dictated. We felt like we had to have that. Now we feel there is more of a choice—because of high/low playing into our lives, in some good ways, in some bad ways. I mean, I think there is a place for everything. I don’t think you play in the high low space as much if you are established in your understanding of your wardrobe, because you realize the value, the quality you get with luxury. You can never compromise that.

Why is it important to have a pop-up?

MP: The way we’re building the brand is kind of unique in the sense of how we distribute it. We have our first brick and mortar in Chicago and we do a lot of online. In order to bolster our online, we really want to have touch points. The first time you touched this collection it really hits home, makes you really understand what it’s about. And so, I think to really engage in the community, it gives us an opportunity to connect with the woman in San Francisco who is little different than the woman in New York or in Chicago. And I like to, as a designer, I really like to listen to people. What’s your lifestyle, why is it different here? What makes it different?

Another look
Another look

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

What are some pieces that are really good for San Franciscans?

MP: Pieces like the Parka, the Marlena Trench, the Caress Wrap. These are all pieces that are perfect for the climate and lifestyle here. Women here are fluid in the way they dress. There is a casual quality. The Marlena trench, is in the same fabric—this form of jersey as we call it. You can throw it on over jeans and a tee shirt. You could throw it on over a great cocktail dress if you are going out for an evening. The Parka is another more fun, casual similar kind of jacket. I don’t know why I immediately went to jackets when you asked the question. Thinking about layering.

What are the pros and cons of having a fashion brand that’s not based in New York?

MP: The pros and cons are the fact that when you are in New York there is just constant connection with editors and press. Resources. So I have to add layers to my process—by kind of having a toe and not a foot in New York. And that’s okay. I enjoy that. I tried to make sure I have enough presence there, like I’m a member of the CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America]. Things like that. Again, it’s that culture of not feeling women need to be dictated to. I don’t have to be in New York to be a viable brand. I don’t have to be anywhere. We are a global community. ECommerce changed everything; eCommerce and social media made us accessible. We can put ourselves out in different ways that we could not before the internet.

The model wears 2057 and Marco Bicego
The model wears 2057 and Marco Bicego

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

What is your greatest luxury?

MP: I have many vices. Jewelry! With jewelry I like to play high/low. I carry jewelry in the store but not luxury. I wanted jewelry that was a little more accessible. So it’s more of the playful pieces that you would add to your luxury pieces. I love the craft and the beauty of jewelry. I am not saying that because I am here [at Shreve & Co., a jeweler]. I have been collecting jewelry since I was 21. I realized there were very few heirlooms in the family. So I had to start collecting. And I tell all my friends. I had a good friend who would say, “I am waiting for my husband to buy that.” I’m like “seriously? I wait for no man.” And I tell all of my women friends, every year for your birthday you should buy an amazing piece of jewelry.

Pinto’s pop-up is here until October 6. Visit her at Villa Fontaine now.

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