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Maiyet Practically Makes Luxury Shopping a Duty

Daria Werbowy's Maiyet campaign.

Having the means to buy pretty things is most definitely a luxury—but it can also be a way to help support small businesses and local artisans.

That's the thinking behind Maiyet, a two-season-old label that features leather shoes and handbags, silk dresses and bone jewelry, all produced in small batches by over 200 craftspeople in countries as diverse as Kenya, India and Italy.

Launched by Paul van Zyl, a human rights activist whose life goal is to help build infrastructure within developing nations, and Kristy Caylor, a former Gap executive who worked on the company's Product Red initiative, Maiyet has put on two runway shows in Paris, gaining influential followers within the fashion industry. The most notable of those luminaries is Amanda Brooks, Barneys' cool-and-elegant fashion director. (Unsurprisingly, the department store is Maiyet's exclusive retailer for spring.)

Brooks sat down with the duo this morning for a brief Q&A, where they pitched their idea to a group of savvy web editors and bloggers. Were we convinced? Shop the collection below and decide for yourself. Luxury with a conscious is a pretty tough concept to ignore. Especially when it looks this good.

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