Maiyet header - March 2012

Worldly Goods: MAIYET Celebrates The Rare and Unexpected

Sometimes numbers tell a story better than words. Take the lengths to which Maiyet co-founders Kristy Caylor and Paul van Zyl went in order to find the world’s best artisans: 6 months visiting 55 companies in nearly 25 cities throughout 8 countries and across 5 continents. It gives you jet lag just thinking about it. But for Caylor and van Zyl, there was no other way.

We gave you a glimpse at Maiyet’s incredible backstory earlier this year. But over the course of the upcoming week, we’re going to fully immerse you in the world of Maiyet. Exclusive to Barneys New York, this is a brand that hopscotches across global and societal boundaries—from India to Colombia to the 2012 Academy Awards—like no other has before.

The short version goes something like this: Maiyet is the brainchild of human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl and social entrepreneur Daniel Lubetzky, who teamed up with Kristy Caylor, the former president of Band of Outsiders, to achieve their goal of marrying high-end design with ethical action. To do this, Maiyet partners with artisans in developing economies, incorporating ancient traditions into modern designs and promoting prosperity, employment and dignity across the globe. (It’s little wonder that the name Maiyet is derived from the Egyptian goddess of truth and harmony.)

To help ensure the success of the artisans with which it works, Maiyet collaborates closely with Nest, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to training and developing artisan businesses through customized short- and long-term programs. Maiyet donates a percentage of its profits towards these programs.

When it comes to the design, hallmarks of the collection include streamlined silhouettes, luxe fabrics and exquisite craftsmanship and embroidery—all of which helped earn Maiyet the Vogue stamp of approval earlier this month. Shop a few of our favorites below, and stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes scoop as the week unfolds.

(Can’t wait that long? Check out Cass Bird‘s captivating video of Daria Werbowy modeling Maiyet then read a Q&A with Maiyet’s Kristy Caylor.)

1. Gold & white bone single baby fish pendant necklace (Kenya); 2. Ceres clutch (Italy); 3. Gold signature sculpt ring (Kenya); 4. Maia sandal (Italy); 5. Medium Neven satchel (Italy); 6. Jackie wedge (Italy); 7. Pleat back dress (India); 8. Deep V tank (India); 9. Tanchoi shorts (India); 10. Ceres messenger camera bag (Italy); 11. Gold large botanic cuff (Colombia); 12. Circle skirt (India); 13. Floral embroidered dress (India); 14. Ponyhair Ayla clutch (Italy)

Shop the entire Maiyet collection at

Main image courtesy of Maiyet.