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August 28 2014

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5 posts tagged "Kristy Caylor"

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. Continue Reading “Designer Diary: Kristy Caylor’s Postcard from India” »

Maiyet’s Movies

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The Geoff Dyer novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is made up of two not exactly connected halves. In the first part, the titular Jeff performs his quasi-professional duties as an art writer making the rounds at the Venice Biennale, i.e., party-going, swilling free drinks, and mingling with the beautiful and fabulous. The novel’s second half, meanwhile, follows an unnamed protagonist, Jeff perhaps, as he wanders, mostly on his own, through the ancient Indian city of Varanasi. Last night’s party in London for Maiyet weirdly merged the two halves of Dyer’s novel. On the one hand, the NOWNESS-hosted shindig had everything a scene-maker could ask for, what with free Champagne (and food, to boot), a performance by Josephine and Alexandre de la Baume’s band, Singtank, and name-drop-worthy attendees like Felicity Jones and Tallulah Harlech. And the Varanasi of it all was amply represented by Maiyet founders Paul van Zyl and Kristy Caylor, who spoke to the assembled crowd about their company’s mission to incorporate rare artisanal skills into their clothes, and specifically about their jacquard production based in…Varanasi. “It’s one of those places that changes you,” Caylor noted, affirming Dyer’s read on the city. “I almost don’t even know how to describe it.”

Varanasi isn’t the only place Maiyet has laid down roots. The brand also has a presence in Kenya, which provided the setting for the series of short films director Cary Fukunaga (who also directed Jane Eyre) made for its Resort 2013 collection. The debut of a re-edited version of the vignettes, which combine them into one short film, served as the occasion for last night’s festivities. “We really just love to work with creative people,” Caylor said when asked if she and van Zyl were planning any future film productions. “That could be a weaver in a small town somewhere, or it can be someone like Cary. I think our next collaboration could be a piece of music, or anything really. It could take any form.”

Photo: Courtesy of NOWNESS

Maiyet’s Girl: Daria Werbowy

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Luxury label Maiyet is preparing to show for its third season in Paris next week. But before then, the conscious clothing brand, by African human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl and former Band of Outsiders president Kristy Caylor, gave us the exclusive first look on the set of its Fall 2012 ad campaign, shot by Cass Bird in Kenya (one of the locations where they employ local artisans to create the goods). Here, watch Daria Werbowy model the brand’s cozy knits and military coats for Fall (on sale at Barneys now). Check back on Style.com Monday, October 1, to see the full Spring ’13 collection and our review.

Around The World With Maiyet

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“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).

Photo: Joe Schildhorn / BFAnyc.com

The Making of Maiyet

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Introducing: Maiyet, a conscious-clothing label that’s similar in ethos to Edun but with an even more luxe sophistication (and price point). Though the brand officially launched for Spring ’12 in Paris, Maiyet’s founders—former human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl, former Band of Outsiders president Kristy Caylor, and Daniel Lubetzky—are celebrating the label’s exclusive arrival at Barneys New York stores this week. The collection ($595–$2,400) of military coats, simple blouses, dresses, and jewelry is so sleek shoppers might be oblivious to the fact that it’s the work of hand-block printers in Jaipur or metalsmiths outside Nairobi. How it works: Maiyet and its design team (a group that hails from the likes of Celine, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren) partners with local artisans in countries around the globe to promote self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in developing economies. A portion of the profits then goes into training and development. Here, in this Style.com exclusive video (below), a look at the artisans at work on the collection.

Photo: Courtesy of Maiyet