Ayr, the digitally native women’s wear brand known for its denim and outerwear, will open its first permanent location on Thursday at 199 Lafayette Street in New York.
Ayr SoHo originally opened as a three-month pop-up shop, and after extending its temporary lease past the one year mark, the company decided to make it permanent based on its success. The 600-square-foot shop will reopen after a one-month hiatus, to allow the architects/interior designers at BSP to work on the shop.
Ayr offers seasonless basics and elevated essentials via its digital flagship, ayr.com. In addition to its new permanent location in SoHo, Ayr has launched pop-ups in the Hamptons, on the Upper East Side and in Los Angeles. The brand is also carried in Nordstrom and through Shopbop and Stitch Fix.
According to Maggie Winter, the firm’s cofounder and chief executive officer, “Ayr was founded in downtown New York City, part of a new wave of digital brands. This is our first proper store, and it reflects everything we’ve learned over the last few years. It’s a small space focused on edited, seasonless essentials. It’s friendly, warm and welcoming. Walking into the shop should feel like coming home.”
The former SoHo pop-up was the brand’s first foray into bricks-and-mortar in 2016.
“Physical shops allow us to close the feedback loop. We get to connect with women in real life, in real-time. We get insight into their interactions with the clothes, sure — but more importantly, we get a sense of their everyday lives, their needs, their pain points and expectations. We’ve created product in direct response to our experiences in our stores — offering shorter inseams, higher rises in denim and responding to what that customer needs in other categories,” said Winter.
Ayr, which stands for All Year Round, looks to open several more stores. The company has its eye on Los Angeles next. It currently has a pop-up on Abbot Kinney, which has been successful. It has a recurring seasonal pop-up in the Hamptons, which will open this Memorial Day in Sag Harbor. It also has a pop-up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (70th Street and Lexington Avenue), which opened last fall and will close this spring.
First-year sales projections for the SoHo store are over $1,600 a square foot.
The SoHo store will carry denim, dresses, shorts, silk tops and outerwear. Retail prices, for example, are $65 for a cotton T-shirt; $135 for a striped linen top; $185 for signature skinny jeans; $225 for detailed/distressed rigid denim; $395 for a blazer, and $595 for a camel hair robe. Ayr denim is made in Los Angeles, while the rest of the line is produced in New York and overseas.
“We’re excited to build a home for our brand that complements our digital flagship store,” said Jac Cameron, the brand’s cofounder and creative director. The store is a few blocks from its studios. “We run back and forth every day, taking ideas directly from customers to the company. Sometimes fresh styles are delivered straight from headquarters to hangers in the store,” said Cameron.
Ayr started in 2014 as part of Bonobos. It spun off into a separate business the following year. In 2016, Ayr closed on a seed round with investors that included Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, Birchbox cofounder and first-round partner Hayley Barna and Bonobos founder Andy Dunn. That was followed by $5.5 million from an investor pool that included The Collected Group, parent to the Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott brands, which took a minority stake in the business.