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Diane Cha has recently left her senior job at Gap Inc.’s Athleta brand to join Ayr, a label with only 17 employees and no offices or headquarters. Despite the pandemic restrictions, Ayr permanently closed its offices in New York’s Noho neighborhood and now operates fully virtually, with employees working from home in their own US time zones. Cha will be working from her bedroom in Orange County, California with a team spread across three time zones from Ojai to Coatesville.
While most fashion labels rushed employees back to the office after the pandemic loosened restrictions, Ayr’s decision to remain virtual has resulted in sustained revenue growth. The label’s annual revenues have quintupled over three years and reached $50 million this year. This change has also allowed Ayr to recruit more experienced people from across the country and has had a significant impact on its growth. Chief People Officer Mallory Snyder received over 5,000 applications for an opening for a senior creative manager that was posted for three months. “Opening up the team to the entire country gives us access to a deep well of talent,” says co-founder Maggie Winter.