Ayr, a fashion label with 17 employees and no offices or headquarters, has recently hired Diane Cha as the head of merchandising. Cha left her senior job at Gap Inc.’s Athleta brand to join Ayr and work from her bedroom in Orange County, California. The rest of the team is spread across three time zones from Ojai, California to Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
In contrast to most fashion labels that rushed their employees back to the office after pandemic restrictions loosened, Ayr permanently shut down its offices in New York’s Noho neighbourhood. This decision has led to sustained revenue growth for the label, with annual revenues quintupling over three years and reaching $50 million this year.
Operating virtually has allowed Ayr to recruit more experienced people from across the country and has made a significant impact on the label’s growth. When Mallory Snyder, Ayr’s chief people officer based in Emigration Canyon, Utah, posted an opening for a senior creative manager, she received over 5,000 applications over the three months that the posting stayed up. “Opening up the team to the entire country gives us access to a deep well of talent,” Winter says.
Ayr is known for its sturdy denim and “old soul” classics and has been able to sustain its success by embracing remote work and leveraging technology. The label uses virtual tools like Zoom and Slack for communication and collaboration among its virtual team members. It also utilizes data analytics tools like Google Analytics and Salesforce to track sales performance and customer behavior.
The success of Ayr can be attributed not only to its innovative business model but also to its commitment to sustainability. The label uses eco-friendly materials in its products and is committed to reducing waste throughout its supply chain. By prioritizing sustainability alongside innovation, Ayr has been able to attract customers who value ethical fashion practices while still delivering high-quality products that meet their needs.