Luxury rental service Armarium, which launched in 2016, has raised $3 million to date from big fashion investors like Carmen Busquets, Holli Rogers, Tommy Hilfiger and Adrian Cheng and Clive Ng‘s C Venture (which just raised $165 million in funding for Moda Operandi). Now they are upping the ante, with a revamped website that includes a chatbot called the “Armibot”, which asks clientele about body type, occasion, and personal style and compiles the information to create a personalized cookbook for the client based on these preferences so that the shopping experience becomes more seamless. The new website will also provide direct access to stylists and industry vets like Nausheen Shah, J. Errico, and styling duo and former Vogue staffers Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster of La Marque, and more and will have new editorial content. Direct access to a top stylist will cost anywhere from $85 to $110 on top of the rental fee with lookbooks being sent within 72 hours, but clients also have access to an in-house stylist at Armarium for free who can send a cookbook within 24 hours.
The new site also boasts a “Complete the Look” feature, which will be available with selected retail partners like Net-A-Porter, Kirna Zabete, Pilot and Powell, Capitol, Copious Row and 20Twelve. The feature will allow the boutiques to style looks for clients based on knowledge of their preferences through Armarium and match rentals with available inventory for purchase within the boutiques to round out the look. The results can be emailed to clients in a personalized lookbook. The partnership with boutiques is part of a larger plan to partner with more retailers and e-tailers with the goal of mixing their rentals with customers existing shopping habits. For each full-price item sold through its platform Armarium will earn a percentage, while the boutiques and e-tailers will earn commissions of 10 to 20 percent for each rental. Armarium had previously dipped its toes into traditional retail venues with a series of pop-ups at the St. Regis Hotel during the holiday season last year during its soft launch. Co-founder and current CEO Trisha Gregory told The Daily that she realized early on that clients at the Armarium level craved personalized luxury service above anything, which is why she decided to launch the styling service and the Armibot digital styling tool.
“Armarium came from my own understanding and industry experience that really showcased the discrepancy between old world values and new world needs,” said Gregory in a statement. “Armarium sees its service as an integration into the luxury retail experience by enhancing and bringing relevance via share economy principles that make sense for this industry. The customer and client is changing. And we see that Armarium’s focus to offer both technological and new retail tools will allow the client to appreciate the luxury designers in a much more relevant capacity.”
Armarium has made a name for itself carrying higher-end rentals than its competitor Rent the Runway, with designers like Missoni, Christopher, Kane, Mugler, Prabal Gurung, Rochas, and more. The company plans to add Mary Katrantzou, Paco Rabanne, Alexandre Vauthier and other high-end labels in 2018.
“We will be hiring a fashion director in the near future to best help curate our product matrix and content platform, further highlighting our brand partners,” said Gregory. “Our goal is to further service our luxury brand partners by providing targeted lead generation and a customer experience unlike any other platform.”