Browns has teamed up with luxury fashion rental and styling service Armarium, which is staging a two-week pop-up at its iconic South Molton Street store in London in a move it says will complement its full-price offer and give new life to stand-out fashion pieces.
Co-founded by former senior director of public relations at Salvatore Ferragamo, Trisha Gregory, Armarium offers an online rental and styling service via its website, app and New York showroom.
A “Style Brigade” of leading stylists, including leading celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger who was in London to celebrate the Browns launch, are available on the site to provide customers with a celebrity-worthy level of service and advice to clients offering them a pick of the best looks from luxury designers, along with curated vintage pieces.
The idea of the service is to give clients the chance to wear and try stand-out looks and “buy into the dream of a brand”, said Gregory. Armarium stylists also offer advice and recommendations on accessories and other items for clients to buy to complement their rented items.
“It’s about dialling it down and making fashion more fearless and that’s where the bought/borrowed approach comes in. We’re saying go rent the dress you are only going to wear once or twice but buy the shoes and bag and buy the leather jacket you’re going to live in,” said Erlanger.
This “bought/borrowed” approach is key to Armarium’s partnerships with retailers and the Browns collaboration is its first such partnership in Europe. “We always partner with retailers who see it as a complement to full price retail. We can bring in a new customer who maybe wouldn’t invest in [certain pieces] at full-price and it can be a way of leading people into a brand,” said Gregory.
The selection on offer at Browns also includes items selected from the retailer’s own buy, which have been chosen by buying director Ida Petersson. Petersson said the opportunity to place stock in the Armarium selection was a great way of lending new life to pieces that might otherwise have ended up on sale.
“It might be big pieces that have arrived [in store] late in the season and after six-eight weeks, because of promotional activity in the US or elsewhere in the world, we have to put them on sale and we are forced between a rock and a hard place. The pieces can get devalued and we know how much hard work has gone into them,” she explained.
The Armarium pop-up will run until 28 June. For a full interview with Trisha Gregory, Micaela Erlanger and Ida Petersson, log in to The Industry tomorrow.