Zady Co-founder Soraya Darabi Leaves Day-to-Day Role

She will continue working with the online retailer as a senior adviser.
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Lauren Indvik
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She will continue working with the online retailer as a senior adviser.
Zady co-founders Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Zady

Zady co-founders Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Zady

Zady, a two-year-old online retailer that has become a —if not the — poster child of the ethical fashion movement, is now without co-founder Soraya Darabi.

On Wednesday, Darabi announced that she is stepping down from her day-to-day role at the company, but will stay on as an adviser. "My background is more of an angel investor/adviser to many tech companies in New York," she told WWD. "My focus now will be to invest and advise companies in the intersection of design, technology and social impact." Zady's remaining co-founder, Maxine Bédat, said in a call with Fashionista that the two "remain very, very good friends," and that Darabi will continue to play an "important role in the company."

This is not the first time Darabi has left a company where she held the title of co-founder: In 2011, a little over a year after she joined Foursquare/Yelp competitor Foodspotting (a move for which she was retroactively given the title of co-founder), she decided to "take a step back into the role of senior adviser," adding that she would "continue to vest equity in this role." At the time, a source noted that Darabi "has a track record of someone who wants to leave before the show is over."

But Foodspotting had a happy ending, going on to be acquired by OpenTable for $10 million in 2013 — and Bédat, an advocate for ethical clothing production well before launching Zady, is committed to forging ahead.

Zady's key focus these days is building out its own brand. Last year, Zady launched a private label, beginning with a $160 wool sweater sourced and manufactured entirely in the U.S. That sweater is completely sold out on Zady.com; so, too, is a $36 cotton t-shirt that Zady has made about 800 of so far. The company is introducing seven more pieces — a coat and six tops — made of cotton, linen and alpaca this fall.