ABOVE: SIMON DOONAN AND CHRISTINA RICCI AT THE MAIYET LAUNCH, HOSTED AT BARNEYS NEW YORK. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILLY FARRELL AGENCY.
Socialites mingled with social workers at Barneys New York last evening for the launch of Maiyet. Champagne and caipirinhas circulated at the exclusive gathering, while guests such as Simon Doonan were able to try their own hand printing on luxurious white linen kerchiefs. A table replete with carved wood blocks and green, orange, red and black dyes made for haute do-it-yourself handkerchiefs and partygoers happily pressed on their own designs for their sweethearts, suit pockets or delicately drying stylish sniffles.
Video played of the far-flung, exotic places from which Maiyet not only gets its inspiration, but, as Chief Executive Officer Paul Van Zyl explained, also supports local artisans who have been practicing their arts for years, passing down the skills from one generation to the next. Maiyet’s sources range from Varanasi, India to Medellin, Columbia and Nairobi, Kenya. Elegantly displayed were delicate flowery armbands in rich colors that looked like they were forged in a fiery furnace, glamorously cut gowns, and skirts with subtle international patterns.
Hostess Christina Ricci was ravishing and shared the excitement of the room for Maiyet’s resplendent launch. “I love the intricate designs and the message—bringing attention to these talented artisans. I’ve been to Asia, but this makes me want to visit all these other places,” Ricci told us. We quite agree. In the meantime, however, Maiyet offers both a window into a stunning and exotic world, and, in working with local craftsmen, forges a bond between ancient tradition and modern fashion.