First Lady Michelle Obama loved wearing Maria Pinto clothes long before she stepped into a stunning purple Maria sheath for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In an instant, the Chicago-based FOF designer became an international sensation. Maria’s newest collection, M2057, is being launched on the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter, and is designed to appeal to real women of all body types. Women like you and I.
FOF talked to Maria about what she’s been up to since the heady days of 2008 and the genesis of her new collection.
Why did you close your previous design and retail business, what have you been doing since then and what prompted you to take this route with the design of a new collection?
The economic situation in 2008 and 2009 led up to closing my business in January 2010. I was then contracted to be the creative director of Chicago retailer Mark Shale, where I was charged with rebalancing and resuscitating the brand. I gave it a year, and I was really excited about what I was able to do, but I subsequently felt that I needed to move forward in my process.
During this time, I continued to create art, painting and drawing. I was co-curator of an exhibit at the Field Museum, which ran from last September to this September. It was an amazing experience. All these endeavors have built up to where I am today. I have to design. I love designing. I recognized the opportunity to create a clothing line that’s the nexus of form and function.