Armarium Brings Luxe Designer Rental Pop-Up Shop to SF

Trisha Gregory and Alexandra Lind Rose at the Armarium San Francisco launch at de Gournay
Trisha Gregory and Alexandra Lind Rose at the Armarium San Francisco launch at de Gournay

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

If you’ve ever browsed Rent the Runway and been disappointed by the bridesmaid-style dresses and lack of luxury designers, allow us to introduce you to its upscale competitor Armarium. The shopping platform was launched last year as an app, but moved to a full e-commerce experience soon there after. Founders Trisha Gregory and Alexandra Lind Rose were long time friends in the New York fashion industry who noticed that it was incredibly hard to find statement pieces that they had seen on the runways. They decided to take matters into their own hands and Armarium was born. Gregory and Rose attend all of the important fashion shows, curate the most covetable gowns, and buy them directly from the designers. Then they add them to Armarium’s database of clothing available for rent. “We’re very different from any other rental service and we only have a luxury brand matrix,” Rose told Haute Living at a pop-up event earlier this week at Emily Holt’s Hero Shop. “We have about 55 brands on board to date and none of those brands, except for maybe a couple, I think, are found in other rental platforms. We are the most luxury version of the shared economy in fashion.”

Olivia McCloskey shops Armarium at Hero Shop
Melody McCloskey shops Armarium at Hero Shop

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

“It’s always a statement piece,” Gregory adds. “It’s a highly curated collection of mostly statement pieces from the collections. It’s all current styles, including a very select group of vintage pieces, more like couture pieces.” The duo search for the most editorial dresses that are hard to re-wear—making Armarium perfect for the gal who is constantly attending galas and getting photographed. “These aren’t incorporate in your daily wardrobe, but a one-hit-wonder and wow piece that if you’re photographed, it really would be hard to wear it again,” Rose explains. The gorgeous gowns, which were on display for three days at the de Gournay showroom on Sacramento Street, are the stuff dreams are made of. Some looks we’re lusting over: a bright blue beaded fringe Naeem Khan, a jungle print silk strapless Rochas, a sequin embellished long sleeve fuchsia Marchesa, and a tie-neck ruffle chiffon Roberto Cavalli. The selection of opulent designers is unparalleled. There’s Pilotto, Prabal, and Pucci, Missoni and Mulger, and Rochas, Roland, and Rykiel. The amazing thing is the dresses are a fraction of the retail price. A long-sleeve floral print ball gown by Carolina Herrera that retails for $5000 is available to rent for just $700.

Style Brigade member Claudia Mata
Style Brigade member Claudia Mata

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography

Armarium makes the online shopping experience unique in that it offers you direct access to stylists. There are 35 stylists in the Armarium Style Brigade, including the hostess of the Hero Shop event, Claudia Mata, who will help fashion lovers find the perfect look. “We encourage everybody that’s ordering something to call us up and consult with one of our stylists in house, and she can walk you through the sizing,” Rose says. At the pop-ups, the Armarium team was taking measurements of all interested clients and imputing them into a database, so the next time a SF social wants to order a dress, she can easily figure out her size. What are SF socials looking for this season? “There is a fancy market here, but there is also a daring market,” Rose says. “Much more so than people typically associate San Francisco with. It’s not just a market for conservative ballgowns anymore.” Gregory agrees adding that “it’s all multi-colored, fun, mini dresses. They can wear them to a music festival or an early summer wedding. Fun things like that are going well here.”

Armarium's gorgeous collection of gowns at Hero Shop
Armarium’s gorgeous collection of gowns at Hero Shop

To complement their seamless rental service and ensure that all their customers are happy shoppers, Armarium has partnered with Flont.Club, an online platform for fine jewelry rentals. “We want this to be very inclusive. I think we are democratizing luxury fashion, which was, for a very long time, very exclusive,” Rose says. “Social media’s broken down those walls, but now we’re giving people access to the product that you see on fashion bloggers, editors, celebrities. And we want people to have fun with it. Take a risk, try something they wouldn’t.” The only thing left to say is sign us up—we’re ready to join the Armi!

Rent this Carolina Herrera dress on Armarium's website
Rent this Carolina Herrera dress on Armarium’s website