PART ONE OF OUR FIRST-EVER THREE-PART SERIES.
For the first time ever, we're featuring the three amazing women behind AYR, the womenswear clothing brand (Vogue described their jeans as being "like a gift from the denim gods") over the course of the next three Sundays.
First up, Maggie Winter, former merchandiser for J.Crew and Madewell, and constant traveler. She's sharing the 7 things she carries with her to feel prepared for anything the adventure might throw at her, which includes an actual camera and actual film, which might just make her my new hero.
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No matter where I’m going – whether it’s down the block or across the country or halfway around the world – I like to have a few things with me that make me feel prepared for whatever adventure presents itself.
- Maggie Winter
1. The Robe
I’ve owned this jacket since we launched AYR four years ago, and it’s hands-down the most frequently-worn piece in my wardrobe. It is equal parts comfortable and stylish. It makes me feel pulled-together and cool, even though it feels like a fancy Snuggie. It’s long and light, so it’s a perfect layer in every climate. I’ve taken mine to London, Paris, Santorini, LA and Marfa, Texas.
2. A Camera + Film
I bring a camera in my purse wherever I go. I have a Ricoh GR1 that I got on eBay. It’s the best, it fits right into the palm of my hand, it’s super lightweight, and we use it to take a lot of our brand imagery for AYR!
3 The Mirage Pant
This is the best pant in the world, especially for flights. It’s 95% silk and 5% spandex, so they keep you warm when it’s cool, and cool when it’s warm. They can be dressy or casual, and they're super comfy. It’s a miracle pant.
I love leather sneakers because they’re durable but comfortable (see a theme here?) – they keep your feet dry in the rain, and they look just a little bit more polished than canvas sneakers. Plus, they’re made in NYC – love to rep our city.
5. A Turkish Towel
I got one of these in Istanbul and it really is the best – you can wear it as a scarf or a sarong, use it as a blanket or a beach towel, and it packs down to nothing. It’s like a fancy security blanket – I highly recommend traveling with one! The version from Parachute is also a luxurious travel buddy.
6. Kusmi Tea
I bring some tea bags with me because you can get hot water everywhere, and it’s nice on a flight or after arriving at a faraway destination to feel cozy and at home. My favorite kind is Kusmi BB Detox – it’s delicious, and I feel like it’s good for me, because it has the word ‘detox’ in it.
7. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1
Flying is dehydrating. This is my favorite lip balm because it lasts a long time and it’s not sticky or gloopy.
Maggie Winter is CEO of AYR, a womenswear brand she co-founded with her friends Jac Cameron and Max Bonbrest. She splits her time between NYC and LA with her boyfriend Brice and her chubby cat, Rex. She loves photography and writing – and moonlights as AYR’s photographer and copywriter.
Maggie Winter is the Co-Founder and CEO of women’s brand AYR. AYR, which stands for All Year Round, launched online 2014 as a line of elevated essentials. Vogue described the jeans as being ‘like a gift from the denim gods.’ In its first year, AYR surpassed $1M in revenue. In its second year, it spun out of Bonobos and incorporated as in independent company. Dutch, LLC, which owns the brands Joie, Equipment, and Current/Elliot, took a minority stake in AYR in 2016. In 2017, AYR opened its first stores in NYC.
As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Winter made and sold graphic t-shirts to a local boutique. She got her first job out of school working as an assistant merchant at J.Crew in 2005.
Under legendary ‘Merchant Prince’, CEO Mickey Drexler’s leadership, Winter was integral to J.Crew’s launch of Crewcuts and Madewell. In her eight years with the company, Winter held merchandising positions in the Factory, Crewcuts, Madewell, and J.Crew retail divisions, where she focused on new and growing categories.
In the fall of 2012, Winter left J.Crew to launch AYR, a start-up womenswear brand incubated by Bonobos. Together with Bonobos’ Founder & CEO, Andy Dunn, who is a pioneer in digital brand-building and innovator in branded commerce, Winter saw the opportunity to reach an emerging and powerful customer. Winter and Co-Founders Jac Cameron and Max Bonbrest launched AYR with great support from editors, influencers, and early customers. The business grew organically, and saw triple-digit increases in sales in its second year.
In early 2016, AYR incorporated and spun out of Bonobos. As an independent company, AYR brought on advisors and investors from the entrepreneurial, editorial, startup, and retail communities (including Dunn, Steven Alan of the eponymous retailer, Hayley Barna, co-founder of Birchbox, Leandra Medine of Manrepeller, and Scott Morrison of 3x1 Denim). A subsequent investment was made by Dutch, LLC, a portfolio of contemporary womenswear brands Joie, Equipment, and Current/Elliot.
AYR is based in New York City. The company has a studio in Noho, a retail store in Soho and is sold online, in select Nordstrom locations, and on Shopbop.