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April 19 2014

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Designer Diary: Kristy Caylor’s Postcard from India

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“India is a huge part of our brand,” said Maiyet‘s Kristy Caylor. In an effort to foster self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in emerging economies, Maiyet, the conscious luxury brand cofounded by Caylor and Paul van Zyl in 2011, partners with artisans across the globe. For instance, the label’s handwoven silk and block-printed fabrics are made in Varanasi and Jaipur, respectively. And a few months ago, Caylor took photographer Cass Bird and model Daria Werbowy to both cities to shoot Maiyet’s Spring ’13 campaign, as well as a short film, which debuts exclusively above. “We wanted to incorporate the flavor of Maiyet from a product perspective, and also show the locations and cultures that mean a lot to us,” said Caylor of the Bird-lensed short. Indeed, it was a jam-packed trip, between shooting everywhere from the streets to the Ganges to Rambagh Palace, and visiting local artisans. But the team had some playtime, too—and they used it to watch sunsets over the river, take elephant rides, and make the acquaintance of a mischievous-looking monkey at Jaipur’s Amber Fort. Caylor, who visits India a few times a year, is set to head back this June, when she’ll continue to develop a new facility that will provide better working conditions for artisans. (As it happens, June will also mark the launch of Maiyet’s first store, on Crosby Street). Caylor chronicles her most recent Indian adventure for Style.com, below.

Sunrise on the Ganges in Varanasi.

Shooting Daria on the ghats in Varanasi.

Amazing dude on the ghats in Varanasi.

Neon-painted elephant at Dera Amer.

Block printer in Jaipur.

Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.

Me at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.

A monkey in Amber Fort in Jaipur..

Sunset on the Ganges in Varanasi.

Photos: Courtesy of Kristy Caylor

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