On Thursday night, we capped off our week of Maiyet with cocktails and dinner at Barneys New York, hosted by none other than Christina Ricci (looking fabulous in head-to-toe Maiyet).
Guests included Samantha Traina, Diana Taylor, Joe Zee, Maiyet’s Kristy Caylor, Gabriella Zanzani and Paul van Zyl, and of course our very own Mark Lee, Daniella Vitale, Charlotte Blechman and Simon Doonan.
For dinner, Chef Floyd Cardoz created a menu inspired by three countries in which Maiyet artisans work: Colombia, Kenya and India.
We could go on, but we’ll let the guests speak for themselves:
ON THE CLOTHES…
“I’m wearing a shirt with an appliqué down the back, and then all of our fall jewelry—I know, I look like I robbed the fine jewelry cabinet. A lot of this is for fall, so it’s not out yet, but it’s very, very special.” – Kristy Caylor
“I can definitely see myself pairing these pieces with other items in my closet. I can’t wait to wear these shorts this summer with a white tank and sandals. And I’m going to wear this shirt all the time with jeans.” – Christina Ricci
“I’m wearing one of the Maiyet tops that’s embroidered outside Ahmedabad by a community of cottage industry embroiders—I’ve met the person who embroidered this.” – Rebecca Kousky (Nest’s founder and director)
“Maiyet is this fabulously designed product. The story of the sustainability of it and the authenticity of it and where it’s made is a great story. But it also combines that with being an incredibly chic, groovy product. It’s not enough that it’s just earnest and sustainable—it’s beautiful stuff.” – Simon Doonan
“When you look at the colors and the fabric, they’re beautiful, but then when you hear about the different continents that they come from, it’s just incredible. They have such a great story behind them, and all these artisans are so talented. Like look at these shorts, how intricate they are.” - Christina Ricci
ON MAIYET’S SIGNATURE FISH NECKLACES…
“It might sound a little too romantic, but you know that parable—when you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life? Well I was thinking about that and I started sketching and it was like oh my gosh, we think this looks really good and it feels amazing. The horn—when you touch it, it’s so sensual and everybody loved it. It just feels wonderful.” - Gabriella Zanzani
“Nest is the training and development piece of Maiyet so we’re interested in looking at artisan businesses that can’t compete with Chinese manufacturing and helping them develop to the point that they can learn to export and provide sustainable incomes for all of their artisans and families.
Mohammad Unis was winning the Nobel Peace Prize when I was graduating with my masters in social work, which was very cool, but all the conversations started to be about lending, which to me is important, but it’s the first step to starting a business and there wasn’t enough conversation about market access or business development. So we wanted to create a new model that was helping artisans through lending, but also through creating a platform for them to be successful in the Western market.” – Rebecca Kousky
“There’s a great turnout. And the most noteworthy thing about tonight is that the sixth floor has been transformed into an incredible jungle—it looks beautiful!” - Simon Doonan
“It’s great to show the collection in its full capacity under the roof of Barneys to all our nearest and dearest and friends of the brand and media. It’s looking spectacular—we’re very, very happy.” – Kristy Caylor
ON THE MENU…
“We got to choose the locations, so Paul and I are going to get up and talk a little bit about what those countries mean to us. Those partners play such an instrumental role to who we are as a company, so it’s nice to be able to feature them and celebrate them.” – Kristy Caylor
“This amazing chef that we have tonight took each location of where we worked and did something really special for us. It’s going to be a surprise for me and exciting because I know what the food is like in Kenya and India and Ahmedabad and Delhi and Mumbai. I’m really excited. – Gabriella Zanzani