Luxury rental service Armarium and Schutz, the Brazilian footwear brand founded by Alexandre Birman, have collaborated on an awards season bungalow at the Schutz location in Beverly Hills, where customers can rent statement gowns and purchase strappy high-heeled sandals for their red carpet moments and beyond.
Schutz is celebrating the project with a capsule collection consisting of 12 new styles for the carpet’s step-and-repeat and other black tie events. The sandals are available exclusively at Schutz Beverly Hills and Schutz-Shoes.com.
Los Angeles is like a second home for Armarium, said cofounder and chief executive officer Trisha Gregory. “We’ve done thousands of rentals in L.A. We’ll be there for three full weeks. Between our clientele and the stylists we work with, we’ll see a few hundred customers. Besides the Oscars, there’s the Grammy Awards on Sunday. Our styles aren’t all floor-length gowns,” said Gregory, adding that Armarium will see everyone from celebrity clients and “someone who’s in L.A. to attend a wedding.”
Armarium’s awards season edit includes styles such as Prabal Gurung‘s black strapless gown with a huge white bow in the back; Leal Daccarett’s blue silk taffeta mermaid gown with detachable sleeves; Roksanda‘s Marva V-neck cape dress; Viktor & Rolf‘s orange gown with ruffled high-low hemline and crystal embroidery on the neck; Rodarte‘s yellow layered one-shoulder tulle gown embellished with black bows, and Altuzarra‘s Kamala pleated and tiered one-shoulder gold lamé dress.
“The bungalow is a two-part experience, a retail environment and atelier and fitting room area where we serve Champagne and Luxwtr, which contains 24-karat gold flecks,” Gregory said of the water, which sells for $80 for four bottles. “We have a few hundred styles. We want to make sure that nobody wears the same dress.”
Marina Larroude, Barneys New York’s former fashion director, and head of Schutz, International at Arezzo & Co., said she’s wanted to partner with the Armarium ceo, whom she’s known since Gregory’s days at Ferragamo, for a while. “Her idea of being able to rent a gown is very disruptive,” Larroude said. “Clients are trying on and renting the gowns and buying our shoes.
“Our sandals have an affordable price point,” Larroude said, noting that most styles are $200 or less. “The entire capsule is eveningwear sandals in metallics, black and classic colors. I expect a little [sales] lift. More than that, I expect to get new clients who aren’t familiar with the brand.”
Larroude said she’s embracing a new retail model that features partnerships and collaborations with designers and brands, with other tie-ups scheduled for 2020; she declined to be more specific. Schutz has pop-ups in L.A. planned for the Grove in March and Americana at Brand in May, and will open in the fall a store in Dallas. “We like the Grove a lot and we’re always looking for a place in SoHo.”
Gregory said Armarium achieves higher average orders offline in pop-up shops, where clients work with stylists during hour-long appointments. Armarium customers engage with the brand six times a year.
Armarium’s assortment has been diversified to capture more consumers. “We’ve definitely brought it down from high evening,” Gregory said. “I’m wearing a sweatshirt from the Paco Rabanne resort collection. We’ve definitely evolved the assortment and will be further evolving it to include more separates and more destination pieces for resort or ski, and looks that you may want to wear for one weekend.”
Apparel sales, when a consumer decides she can’t live without an item she’s rented, “is an increasingly important revenue stream for us,” Gregory said.
Armarium has been partnering with hotels since its inception, opening pop-up shops and offering a concierge service. “We really want to be of assistance to someone who has a very busy schedule, wherever she may be,” Gregory said. “We’re shipping a lot of looks directly to her destination. We can have a stylist on call or have your look ready and waiting for you.”
Larroude said the bungalow, which opened on Monday, is already busy. “This is the first capsule we’ve ever done as part of a collaboration,” she said.