Allow us to introduce Maiyet, the new NY luxury label topping our wishlist - and best of all it's fashion with a conscience...
The words ‘ethical’, ‘eco’ and ‘sustainable’ crop up a lot in the world of fashion these days but it’s fair to say that no-one has yet nailed the creation of a perfect balance between luxury pieces that we really want to spend our money on and a thoughtful, ethically-minded business ethos. But we think Maiyet could be the label to do it.
Its founder, Paul van Zyl, doesn’t have your average fashion background. He‘s a human rights lawyer rather than a designer, a man who wanted to find a way of combing business with social responsibility – and who decided that infiltrating our wardrobes was the way to do it. Providing the fashion expertise is co-founder and designer Kristy Caylor, who has worked at Gap on its (RED) project and at Boy By Band of Outsiders. And when we tell you that the rest of the label’s team has been pulled from labels like Celine, Calvin Klein and The Row, you won’t be surprised to learn that the aesthetic is seriously high-end rather than hippy chick.
Get up close and personal with the clothes and accessories that make up the debut collection and you’ll want them all. The silhouettes are simple and effortless and the fabrics are seriously luxe, embellished with breathtaking embroidery and perfectly executed prints. Hanbags and sandals are made from soft, carefully worked leather, and fuss-free, wear-forever jewellery is moulded from chunky brass and silver. So even without its socially conscious slant it’s winning us – and our wardrobes - over.
But what sets Maiyet apart from the other designer labels on the block is the craftsmanship that lies behind its pieces. Paul and Kristy have spent months jetting around the globe finding artisans tucked away everywhere from Colombia and India to Kenya and Indonesia. The idea is that these small groups will be helped to grow and develop into sustainable businesses, while we fashion fans get to enjoy the benefit of generations of traditional craftsmanship. And while it’s a profit-driven company – well, everyone’s got to eat – Maiyet is committed to ploughing a percentage of the money it makes back into training and development.
So there you have it – beautiful, incredibly stylish clothes with heart. What more could you want? Keep your eyes peeled for it when it hits stores at the beginning of next year...
Find out more at Maiyet.com