HONG KONG — Maiyet was in town Tuesday to fete the launch of its special capsule collection for Net-a-porter.
This story first appeared in the December 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The collection uses a batik print handmade in Indonesia, and was inspired by a Tibetan monastery material, said Kristy Caylor, president and creative director of Maiyet. The line uses two distinctive prints, one in chiffon and another in double georgette, and modern streamlined silhouettes.
“It’s indicative of Net-a-porter’s support for our philosophy of working with artisans in developing economies and finding this rare artisanal skill in unexpected places. This really highlights one of those techniques,” Caylor said.
New York-based Maiyet, which launched 22 months ago, distributes mostly in the U.S. and Europe, has some presence in South Korea and Japan and is hoping to expand its international reach through its relationship with Net-a-porter.
“It’s a very sophisticated, fashion-forward market. It’s an exciting place to be. It’s probably going through a bit of a transition,” Caylor said of the Asian market. “People are hopefully looking for things that are unique and interesting, and have an inherent value to them and offer a different experience.”
The company has also been doing some online sales through its Web site. Caylor noted that online sales, both on the company site and on Net-a-porter, tend to revolve around apparel featuring strong prints and patterns, accessories, shoes and scarves.
Started by a former human rights lawyer, Paul van Zyl, and Caylor, Maiyet is known for its traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. The company supports artisans in far-flung locations around the world and sources from India, Kenya, Peru, Indonesia and elsewhere.
“We love the story. We think Net-a-porter should bring more of these stories to market,” said Net-a-porter global sales and marketing director Lisa Bridgett of how the capsule collection came about. As for introducing the capsule collection from Hong Kong, Bridgett said the decision was partly to highlight Net-a-porter’s Asian business as well as a nod to Maiyet’s global appeal.
“Maiyet is just a naturally global brand. We thought it was fitting for us to bring the brand to Asia and to speak to it in an Asian market partly because the prints and a lot of the lines and flow work very well for our Asian consumers and partly because it’s a perfect juxtaposition of West and East,” Bridgett explained.
Net-a-porter launched its Asian site last May with its customer service and distribution centers headquartered in Hong Kong. The site is getting most of its sales from Australia, followed by Hong Kong. It is also seeing strong growth in China and Japan.