It could only have been fate that led me to a meet a Maiyet employee just days after Jamillah asked me to guest post. I was at a bridal shower, pressing another guest for details about the luxury label she worked for in hopes of getting an interesting tidbit for my own blog. But when she mentioned Maiyet’s partnerships with craftsmen in developing nations, I new I had to save this gem for made-to-travel.
As an idea sprung from a human rights lawyer and a social entrepreneur, Maiyet dedicated itself to social responsibility from the outset. The label partners with nonprofit group Nest, and together, they seek out global partner companies that “exhibit strong leadership, are scalable and can positively transform their communities.”
The relationship is symbiotic: Maiyet gets rare, handmade pieces from around the world while craftsmen in developing nations get fair wages, advance deposits and, ultimately, economic self-sufficiency.
But despite its socially conscious underpinnings, there’s nothing earthy crunchy about Maiyet’s style. The first collection debuted on the Paris runways last fall to rave reviews and was soon picked up by Barney’s. This is probably where I should mention the third founder, Kristy Caylor, who once managed Gap’s Product (RED) line and led Band of Outsiders. Along with Creative Director Gabriella Zanzani (formerly of Celine, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren), the team elevates ancient craftsmanship to modern designs.
While a number of Maiyet’s pieces are made in New York and Italy, you’ll also find block printing from Jaipur, metal work from Nairobi and Medellin, and handwoven silks from Varanasi. It’s refreshing to see a brand that understands quality and luxury can come from anywhere. And it’s even more refreshing to hear of someone using “heritage” as more than just a catchphrase.
Thank you to Jamillah for the opportunity to guest post! I hope you’re enjoying your birthday celebration on the beach!