Ayr has set up shop on its own.
The woman’s brand, which was started under the Bonobos umbrella, closed a seed round of funding Monday from investors including Bonobos founder Andy Dunn, Scott Morrison of 3×1, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller and Hayley Barna, venture partner at First Round and cofounder of Birchbox. Maggie Winter, chief executive officer and cofounder of Ayr, declined to reveal how much was raised but a source close to the company estimated that it ranged from $1 million and $1.5 million.
Dunn told WWD in December that the brand would become a stand-alone operation.
“It’s a mark of success that we can do this,” Dunn said at the time. “The more we looked at it, [we realized Ayr and Bonobos had] different customers. If we want to unlock both of them with a lot of focus it makes sense for them to be stand-alone brands.”
Founded in late 2013 as a denim brand, Ayr, which stands for All Year Round, has grown into a multicategory women’s brand with a growing outerwear business. Jessica Alba, Kendall Jenner, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Chrissy Teigen have all been photographed in Ayr’s “The Robe,” a long indoor/outdoor coat with dropped shoulders that comes in wool or camel. The piece retails for $485 to $585.
“Ayr is about slow fashion fast,” Winter said. “We want to make pieces people are going to love season after season.”
She said the brand’s sales more than doubled to $2.2 million last year and are projected to hit $4 million this year. Denim makes up 40 percent of all purchases, and two new styles released at the end of February — a Flex Tech jean with 80 percent stretch recovery and the cropped Zippy jeans — have sold through half of their inventory.
“Sales from consumers in New York and Brooklyn comprise almost 50 percent of the business,” Winter said. “If we can create a place in downtown Manhattan for women to come try on the jeans, we know it will have a huge impact on the business.”
The founding seven-person team will soon move into a permanent NoHo office that will double as a studio and a space where consumers can make shopping appointments.
Ayr started selling through four Nordstrom doors a year ago and expanded to eight locations as of last month, including top-performing doors in San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Dallas. According to Winter, Nordstrom sold 2.5 times their projected inventory last month.
“One of biggest things we’ve learned from Bonobos and Warby [Parker] is that you can’t underestimate touch and feel, especially if you’re delivering premium products,” she said.