As a fashion reporter, I hear about fashion items that rack up big wait lists, but few of them are as basic as these plain white and black T-shirts that just launched at AYR, a women’s fashion startup whose name stands for All Year Round. Even before the shirts were released, more than 2,000 people had signed up to receive news about the launch.
What’s the deal? Well part of it is that the startup has a very direct relationship with its customers. The brand’s cofounder and creative director, Jac Cameron, does regular Instagram Live conversations with customers, to offer styling advice and to ask what they would like the brand to produce. Really well made T-shirts kept coming up. Women wanted a simple shirt that they really could wear all year round, that could be dressed up or down, and wouldn’t lose its shape or shrink over time.
Cameron, and the rest of her design team at AYR, spent years trying to nail this for their customers. They explored a range of materials and settled on soft Peruvian cotton. They iterated the design many times, so the shirt would fall just so, and look great with jeans or with workwear. They kept their customers involved with the conversation throughout. So when AYR finally announced the T-shirt was ready, their customers were primed to buy them. Today the shirts launch and cost between $55 and $65.