Around The World With Maiyet
“We literally sat in the back of some man’s house and workshop in Kenya, with Silly Putty, making molds to show the artisans how to make this bracelet,” Maiyet president Kristy Caylor (pictured, right) told Style.com last night at the brand’s fête to celebrate its exclusive launch at Barneys. As she held up a sleek gold cuff, she explained, “The first time the bracelet came back, it looked nothing like this. The second time, it looked nothing like this. By the third time it was close, and by the fourth time it was beautiful. They came out with this huge smile on their faces when they knew they had finally achieved what we had asked for.”
Caylor, along with the brand’s co-founder Paul van Zyl (pictured, left) and creative director Gabriella Zanzani, shared similarly endearing stories about the making of Maiyet and their partnership with artisans in South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, India, and more throughout the dinner portion of the night. Among those seated at the Fred’s feast, prepared by chef Floyd Cardoz, was Christina Ricci (pictured, center), this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, Princess Khaliya Aga Khan, and Barneys’ Mark Lee. “I wish I had known who she [Gbowee] was in the elevator—I had no idea I was in the presence of greatness,” one female guest said as she sat down to the table.
Nearby, Ricci, who was dressed in head-to-toe Maiyet, told Style.com, “At first, I just looked at the designs and thought they were beautiful, and then hearing the concept behind the whole company, I thought it was really amazing.” Meanwhile, at the other end of the lucite table, wine glasses were breaking left and right as they fell into the water-filled moat running down the middle. “It’s still early in the night and people are already throwing glasses around,” joked van Zyl. “Well, as long as Lori Goldstein is OK, the evening can proceed,” he told the group as he looked at Goldstein, who was sitting directly to his right. Though Ricci had to head out after a few bites of her banana leaf-wrapped halibut (early-morning rehearsals for her off-Broadway performance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream called), the rest of the guests continued on through the Indian vanilla bean kulfi (well, assuming they didn’t lose their dessert silverware to the moat).
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