The AYR girl is busy. She’s classy. She’s not defined by logos or labels. She buys online whether that be her groceries, or her pants. She expects great service and amazing quality… and she gets both.
The AYR girl is the brainchild of friends Maggie Winter, Jac Cameron, and Max Bonbrest. Three friends who came across Bonobos’ Andy Dunn at a time when he was playing with the idea of taking his popular business model to another market. He had the infrastructure, and they had an idea for a women’s clothing line that he couldn’t pass up.
Launched in 2014, AYR, which stands for All Year Round, spun off into their own stratosphere earlier this year. Their clothing uses Turkish cottons, Italian wools, Japanese jerseys, and the best denim in LA to create Grade A select fashion that is made up of 24/7 pieces— essentials that live, well… all year round.
The girls, who have a background in women’s fashion (Jac came from Marc Jacobs and was one of the original designers of Madewell) saw that although there was so much out there, this simple, elemental way of dressing was missing. Clean lines, that you can get online. Basically, slow fashion, super fast.
“We want to service a customer that didn’t exist 10 years ago,” says Jac. “We want to bring to her the best service possible. Not just the best clothes, but the best service so she feels like she’s getting the whole package whether she comes in the shop or buys online.”
Being incubated by Bonobos, what was ingrained in them from inception was the importance of a personalized shopping experience in store. Max describes the way it works: “You come in here and we have one of everything in every size that you can try on. Then, when you check out you don’t actually leave with anything. You get your fresh product from our distribution center. It’s wrapped up in a nice box and is like receiving a special gift in the mail the next day,” she explains. “There’s something to the way women are living their lives now that really fits this type of model.”
Because the AYR girl is on-the-go, and doesn’t want to lug around a shopping bag all day.
This non traditional brick and mortar concept helps digitally native brands become profitable because they fully utilize the small space that they have— they don’t have a huge overhead and they manage all their inventory out of one space, minimizing the need for a huge staff.
Small, (they are a group of seven) they choose to be select. They are picky about where they will sell, wanting it mostly to come via online sales or by appointment in their eighth floor Studio Shop in NoHo. They sell to eight Nordstrom stores, and to Shopbop for their international market.
Denim makes up 40% of their business. Their price point is steep at $175 and up, but their products, and the way they are made, are top notch, with the girls involved in the process every step of the way. “It’s important to get out there and do stuff face to face,” says Jac.
This includes taking trips to Kentucky to visit their “wash-master,” a man who’s been in the business since he was 12. “He has a facility called Wonderland that’s like the mad science of denim,” she explains. “He’ll have us in there with a toothbrush and bleach.” It is there that they hunker over a pair of loved jeans to create the perfect wash formula, creating a standard that they will then take to LA where it is made in bulk.
Which is exactly what they did with their number one best seller, aptly named “Jac’s Jean.” One of the first jeans they launched with, it was based off a pair of jeans Jac wore for seven years that they basically had to take off her body and replicate.
Which leaves us to believe, the AYR girl is resourceful as well. How convenient!
Lindsay DeLong is the Managing Editor of The Fullest. She’s more than willing to trade all of the clothes in her closet for a handful of AYR signature pieces. However, unless they have a hankering for some 8th grade Roxy, her inner AYR girl will just have to wait. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media via @lindizzaster.