Armarium Pops Up in L.A. for Awards Season, Names Stylist Micaela Erlanger Fashion Director
Susan Sarandon, Nina Agdal, Adriana Lima, Busy Philipps have rented the company’s luxe dresses.
Just in time to catch the end of awards season, New York-based online luxury fashion rental and styling business Armarium has teamed up with online fine jewelry rental company Flont for a pop-up shop in West Hollywood. Doors open Thursday afternoon and the Armarium x Flont shop will remain open six days a week (and by appointment on Sundays) through March 6.
Armarium held a weeklong pop-up in 2016, hosted by celebrity florist Eric Buterbaugh, and a similar pop-up in West Hollywood last February, so this is the brand’s third West Coast pop-up shop. On the racks are a selection of Armarium’s gowns, dresses and jumpsuits (in sizes 0 to 12) by labels such as Naeem Kahn, Alexandre Vauthier, Christopher Kane, Paco Rabanne and Alexis Mabille, along with clutch handbags by Lee Savage and Judith Leiber Couture, plus Flont’s fine jewelry from brands such as Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany & Co.
Armarium’s foundation is a team of 15 in-house stylists (who compile a complimentary digital lookbook for clients) and a higher-tier Style Brigade consisting of 30 pro stylists and fashion experts including such Hollywood power players as Cristina Ehrlich (whose clients include Brie Larson and Anna Kendrick), Kate Hudson’s stylist Sophia Lopez, Erin Walsh (who works with Kerry Washington and Sarah Jessica Parker), Micaela Erlanger (who counts Meryl Streep and Lupita Nyong’o as clients) and stylist/on-air personality George Kotsiopoulos. The Style Brigade creates editorial content and curates personalized lookbooks or styles clients on demand in the brand’s New York showroom for a fee that varies according to that expert’s hourly rate. Ehrlich, Lopez, Walsh and Kotsiopoulos will all be available in person, by appointment, to assist clients at the West Hollywood pop-up shop.
“Our clients can actually hire these major stylists to style them in our rented looks, just as a celebrity would hire a stylist to procure looks straight from the runways,” says Armarium CEO Trisha Gregory, who notes that the brand is planning to open a Los Angeles showroom later this year or early next year.
Earlier this week, Armarium announced the hire of Erlanger as its first fashion director to help the company build on styling services, oversee content and add new fashion brands to the mix.
“I was introduced to Armarium two years ago,” says Erlanger. “I had heard the buzz and went to meet Trisha and said, ‘Wow, there’s a site that’s bringing luxury fashion to the masses and they have a styling component.' We hit it off and I joined the ‘ARMI’ on their styling roster. I’m really glad I did because it led to this incredible opportunity. I’m very excited to dive into this role and bring my expertise, knowledge and relationships to the table. I think this is an incredible platform that is reshaping the retail model.
“Armarium has an extraordinary roster of talent, many who are my peers who I admire and know personally,” continues Erlanger. “I think the styling component is unparalleled. They are legitimately giving people that choose to rent from the site access to the top experts in our field and to runway looks and the most highly curated collections. As a stylist, my mantra is making sure that my clients feel their best and feel confident, so being able to follow that mission and make it accessible on a luxury fashion level to the public is an incredibly empowering opportunity for me.”
Adds Erlanger: “I’m thrilled the pop-up is happening right before the Academy Awards. The timing couldn’t be better, especially for all the people who might not be actresses who need dresses for these once-in-a-lifetime moments when you want that one special, amazing outfit to wear that one night.”
“One reason we built Armarium is so an upcoming model or celebrity, who may not be dressed by the top houses, can experience this novelty ready-to-wear through rental,” says Gregory, although she mentions that Susan Sarandon rented a silver, off-the-shoulder dress from an Armarium pop-up shop in Aspen a few years ago. Models Nina Agdal and Adriana Lima, actress Busy Philipps and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso are also clients. “And we rent regularly to Hollywood execs, producers, directors and wives. We really run the gamut in age, with actresses and entrepreneurs who could be 22 or 65,” says the CEO.
“Our focus is on the aspirational customer, who is most likely experiencing luxury brands for the first time through rental, and that’s why we’re excited to bring Micaela on board to really spearhead our content and our service offering, based around styling, to attract that customer," adds Gregory. "Luxury brands are adopting the shared economy and women are focused on cautious consumption, save-ability, decluttering."