AYR Raises Its First Funding Round From Leandra Medine, 3x1 and Bonobos Founders - Fashionista

AYR Raises Its First Funding Round From Leandra Medine, 3x1 and Bonobos Founders

The women's denim and essentials brand has split off from its parent company, Bonobos.
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AYR denim. Photo: AYR

AYR denim. Photo: AYR

Now a month beyond its second birthday, the women's clothing startup AYR has made a few significant changes to its business, the first being that its business truly is its business: founded as an offshoot of the online-born men's brand Bonobos, AYR has spun off into a separate company, AYR Inc. To fuel this solo mission, AYR closed its first funding round last week, raising an undisclosed amount from Man Repeller's Leandra Medine, 3x1 founder and designer Scott Morrison, Hayley Barna of First Round Capital (also a co-founder of Birchbox) and Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn. WWD puts that figure at $1 to $1.5 million, which we're told is accurate.

Maggie Winter, AYR's co-founder and CEO, describes the startup's first 24 months in operation as an exercise in achieving proof of concept — Bonobos, after all, was there to provide financial, technological and fulfillment support. Sales of AYR's collection, which includes $175 skinny denim and basics like silky tank tops ($165) and chambray shirts ($95), grew by triple digits between its first and second year.

Having recently moved out of Bonobos's headquarters, the AYR team is now focused on opening a new retail space — separate from the one it maintained in Bonobos's offices — and relaunching its website in the next month. The latter will include what Winter describes as as "sliding" sizing tool, through which a customer can provide her height and the range of denim sizes she wears and then receive recommendations for her best fit. (AYR's $1 home try-on program would be liberally promoted within eyeshot.) Same-day delivery could be on the horizon for shoppers in major cities like New York, LA and San Francisco, too.

We're told to keep our eyes peeled for progress on that new store concept. Given that AYR's first space was based on Bonobos's Guideshops — which hold no inventory but let customers try on clothes and order them for delivery — we'd expect to see some innovations on that model.