This morning, Barneys hosted a breakfast in honor of Maiyet‘s debut on the 6th floor of their Madison Avenue flagship.
The founders, CEO Paul Van Zyl and President Kristy Caylor, spoke about where they came from—Van Zyl’s a human rights lawyer and activist, Caylor was at Gap and then Band of Outsiders—and what they’re trying to do with Maiyet (which, by the way, is the name of an Ancient Egyptian goddess). Though they’re trying to develop a new kind of luxury, they’re doing so with centuries old traditions, using artisans with unique skills who’ve been sort of left in the dust as an increasing number of luxury brands source their production to China. In between stories of finding artists from Medellin to Jaipur, they mentioned two newsworthy bits of information.
For starters, Daria Werbowy will remain “the face of the brand.” When Maiyet launched last season the host of big names involved—Lori Goldstein and Cass Bird, on top of Daria, as well as designers from Celine and Ralph Lauren—earned the brand plenty of press. But they weren’t just hired for a blowout debut. It sounds like Daria’s quite involved in the brand and will journey with them to Kenya in May to shoot the fall campaign.
Meanwhile, the brand’s about to launch menswear. Maiyet hasn’t done anything slowly—it launched with shoes, bags and beautiful accessories on top of its women’s ready-to-wear—so waiting two seasons to launch men’s clothing actually sounds slow in comparison.