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At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan on Thursday night, uptown doyennes mounted the stairs for the 10th annual Apollo Circle Fund for Art Conservation benefit. This year’s go-around was themed “Behind the Seams,” a nod to the museum’s current exhibition, “Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800,” and was sponsored by the socially-conscious indie label Maiyet.

“When the Met called, the fit was so natural,” said Paul van Zyl, the brand’s cofounder with Kristy Caylor. “The exhibition is about the ways in which design has influence across continents, and the way that the skills of artisans have been valued and recognized. That really encapsulates everything that Maiyet is about.” For instance, this fall the company will open a factory in Varanasi, India that will offer silk weavers and craftsmen a place to work.

This story first appeared in the November 18, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Caylor and van Zyl stood in the center of the museum’s Vélez Blanco Patio to corral guests for a Champagne toast. 

“It’s really beautiful to look out at this audience and see a much larger group than we would’ve seen two years ago when there were about six of us in a closet trying to make Maiyet a reality,” Caylor offered.


Jessica Joffe, Claire Distenfeld and Ashley Wick preened for photographers during cocktail hour, though shoddy cell phone service on the patio meant multiple failed Instagram attempts. Soon guests slipped into the Temple of Dendur in the museum’s Sackler Wing for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The crowd shimmied to the tunes of DJ Brendan Fallis, a mishmash of Ace of Base, Michael Jackson and Fleetwood Mac.

“I feel very much like a princess,” said Zosia Mamet, wearing a white ruffled Maiyet gown. “I thought it was a little bit sheer. But [the Maiyet team] was like, ‘You’ll be fine. It’s inside.’”

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