Maiyet is a fashion brand that celebrates rare artisanal skills from unexpected places. Maiyet’s uniquely inspired, design driven collection seeks to elevate the next generation of master craftsmen in places like Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, Peru, and Italy. The luxurious, timeless collection celebrates the human touch. It is designed for those who appreciate quality, value and design, and are moved by the soul of artisanal creation.
Inspired by the Ancient Egyptian concept of truth and harmony, Maiyet’s name is in honor of the goddess Ma’at. Always depicted with a feather in her headdress, Ma’at was responsible for creating order in the universe and for regulating the pattern of the stars and the cycle of the seasons. The collection has a sophisticated, minimalist look, with a predominance of earth tones and graphic color combinations, punctuated with ubiquitous ivory, black and the occasional metallic hue. A classic retro aesthetic permeates the collection, which is made from luxurious fabrications such as leather, wool, and silk. Designs have an understated elegance with an extreme attention to detail, featuring intriguing necklines and lapels, color blocks and cut outs, and intricate filigreed designs applied, printed and cut away. Sculptural silhouettes pay homage to the likes of Balenciaga and Schiaparelli.
Deeply committed to forging partnerships with artisans, Maiyet helps promote self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship mostly in developing economies. Maiyet’s strategic partnership with Nest, an independent nonprofit organization, dedicated to training and developing artisan businesses, helps to ensure the transparency and success of all, most especially, the artisans themselves. Working closely together, the partner organizations implement short and long term training, while Maiyet dedicate a percentage of profits back into development. Paul van Zyl and Kristy Caylor, founding partners of Maiyet, spent six months visiting over fifty five companies, in nearly twenty five cities, throughout eight countries, and five continents. Determining that the best means to support sustainable employment in these countries was to build a global luxury brand that sourced from, and was in partnerships with, master craftsmen from developing economies. The partners identified remarkable craftspeople with sophisticated skill sets, including batik artisans in West Java, Indonesia, and hand-woven cashmere from Kashmir.
The partners have an impressive international provenance themselves; van Zyl has a history of over twenty years working in human rights, as the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s renowned Truth Commission, working under Archbishop Desmond Tutu. While partner Daniel Lubetsky brings the business perspective to the brand, as a pioneer working with businesses to promote peace. Caylor bring the fashion component, with a wealth of talent in retail and management, including involvement with the Gap Product (RED), as well as working with Guatemalan artisans for Levi’s.
Working in some of the most beautiful locations around the world, Maiyet take great care to collect cinematic imagery from their artisan partners and their locations. Collaborating with award-winning cinematographers, Maiyet strive to capture the visual story, in honor of the heritage techniques and traditions that make their products so unique.