Ayr, a label with 17 employees and no offices or headquarters, has recently recruited Diane Cha as its head of merchandising. Cha left her senior job at Gap Inc.’s Athleta brand to join the fully virtual company, which operates with employees working from home in their own US time zones. With Cha based in Orange County, California and a team spread across three time zones from Ojai, California to Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Ayr is continuing its sustained revenue growth after permanently shutting down its offices in New York’s Noho neighborhood during the pandemic.
The drastic change has allowed Ayr to recruit more experienced people from across the country and has had 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,” says Winter.
Ayr is known for its sturdy denim and “old soul” classics and has seen annual revenues quintuple over three years and top $50 million this year. The label’s success can be attributed to its unique approach to operating virtually and recruiting top talent from across the country. As more fashion labels adapt to remote work models amidst the pandemic, Ayr’s success serves as an example of how virtual work can drive sustainable growth and innovation in the industry.