Maiyet: Fashion with a conscience


Promoting entrepreneurship, prosperity and dignity in developing countries is something that many of us would like to support, here's a guest blog on how a new luxury fashion brand is doing just that...

I am a human rights lawyer who served as the Executive Secretary of South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission. After that experience I co-founded the International Center for Transitional Justice and worked in over 30 countries, helping to promote accountability and reconciliation in countries that have undergone conflict.

My work across the globe convinced me that promoting entrepreneurship and employment in these countries was a neglected dimension in building sustainable peace. This led me to co-found Maiyet.

Maiyet is a new luxury fashion brand that celebrates the rare and unexpected. We partner with artisans in places like Colombia, India, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia, Peru & South Africa to create a modern, bold collection of handbags, shoes, jewelry and apparel. By incorporating old traditions in untraditional ways, Maiyet aims to promote entrepreneurship, prosperity and dignity in the places it works. The result is a collection that explores the creative tension between the past and the present and unveils a striking intersection of integrity and beauty.

Maiyet is deeply committed to promoting self-sufficiency and job creation among artisan groups in developing economies, the following video showcases how Maiyet transports the work of global artisans onto the Paris runway.

In order to ensure success for our artisan partners, we have entered into a strategic partnership with Nest, an independent nonprofit organisation, dedicated to training and developing artisan businesses. Through Nest we aim to work with a growing list of artisan businesses that alleviate poverty, empower women and promote peace, by bringing together people from opposite sides of conflict.

In October 2011, Maiyet debuted with a Spring Collection at Paris Fashion Week, and Maiyet's Spring & Summer 2012 Collection has just become available for purchase exclusively at Barneys.

Have a look at some of our recent press, including a feature in the March issue of Vogue, and take a few minutes to peruse our Spring & Summer 2012 campaign, which features the iconic Daria Werbowy, shot by Cass Bird, as well as our Paris Fashion Week runway images, styled by Lori Goldstein.

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